“Magnificently Toned Gem 1899-O”


While over-shadowed by the New Orleans issues both before and after, 1899-O is one of the sneaky tough Barber Halves in the upper Mint State grades, with none graded higher than MS66/66+ by PCGS, and only this coin as the one-time NGC MS67.

Bright red-orange toning deepens about the devices and nearer the rims, with flashes of blue, green and violet at the edges. Highly lustrous with striking detail that is exceptionally fine for a New Orleans Barber Half. Perfect for the grade, original, beautiful, and almost MS67, as only some well hidden contact can be found on the lower neck which sets the grade.

In his 1998 description of this coin in his catalogue of the Dr. Price Collection, David Akers notes :

” The 1899-O Half Dollar is not as rare as any of the O Mint issues preceding it or those that follow through 1906; in fact, it is relatively available in grades up to and including Choice Uncirculated. However, above that level it is very scarce and true Gems such as this one are rare. “

PCGS reports eight 1899-O Barber Halves certified as MS66, including three as MS66+ and none finer, while CAC includes seven MS66s at the top of its census. Two of these stand out as the clear finest known, the Price – Hugon – Shireman MS66+ offered here and PCGS MS66+ #16189327 last sold publicly by Heritage Auctions in January 2012. Steve Duckor’s 1899-O Half is also certified as PCGS/CAC MS66+ likely due to its vibrant multi-colored toning, yet it shows too many heavy contact marks which should technically have pushed it out of the MS66 class.

PCGS #25200567

 

PROVENANCE

Dr. Thaine B. Price; David Akers ‘Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection‘, May 1998, lot 146 @ $12,100 as “Gem Uncirculated”; John C. Hugon; Heritage Auctions ‘John C. Hugon Collection‘, January 2005, lot 4221 @ $12,650 as NGC MS-67 #636515-001; Harry Laibstain, privately February 2005 to Peter Shireman; Dr. Peter Shireman; Heritage Auctions ‘Dr. Peter and Janice Shireman Collection‘, January 2016, lot 5396 @ $18,800 as PCGS MS66+ to Joseph O’Connor (OCNUMIS); Dennis Jones; Heritage Auctions, April 2020, lot 3713 @ $18,000 as PCGS/CAC MS66+ #25200567 to Joseph O’Connor (OCNUMIS).

 

ROSTER

1) MS66+ PCGS/CAC #25200567 : Ex Price – Hugon – Shireman (offered above).

2) MS66+ PCGS/CAC #16189327 : Heritage Auctions, May 2004, lot 7523 @ $13,800 as PCGS MS66 #21517972; Heritage Auctions, January 2012, lot 3260 @ $25,300 as PCGS/CAC MS66+ #16189327

3) MS66+ PCGS/CAC #16398773 : Dr. and Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Barber Half Dollar Collection; Heritage Auctions, August 2010, lot 3195 @ $25,300 as PCGS/CAC MS66+ #16398773

4) MS66 PCGS/CAC #25676419 : J.M. Clapp, directly from the New Orleans Mint in November 1899; John H. Clapp; privately 1942 to Louis Eliasberg; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Bowers and Merena ‘Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection‘, April 1997, lot 2086 @ $16,500 as ‘MS-66’; Legend Auctions, September 2018 @ $12,925 as PCGS/CAC MS66 #25676419

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