Half Dollar from 1797 Sells for $1.68 Million

At the Stack's Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, the most valuable United States half dollar to date, the finest known 1797 Draped Bust half dollar, fetched a new record of $1.68 million

It was offered during the firm's Rarities Night event on March 25, and it has a Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) grade of MS-66. It comes from the illustrious Pogue Collection.

American silver half dollars with the Draped Bust, Small Eagle design are the rarest because they were only made for two years (1796 and 1797).

Extremely worn, in Fine or Very Fine condition, frequently with surface defects, it presents an amazing challenge across all grade levels. Out of the 200 or so that were printed for the 1797 edition, only perhaps ten exist in pristine condition.

The Pogue specimen has long been acknowledged as important and is regarded as the best known example of this limited group. It all starts with Virgil Brand's collection, which was put together in the late 1800s and early 1900s

Since its addition to the Brand collection over a century ago, this artwork has only been sold at auction three times, with the most recent sale fetching a record $1.68 million. It was Stack's Bowers that handled all three sales.

Among the many records broken at the Stack's Bowers March auction were those for the Pogue 1797 half dollar and the finest known 1822 half eagle, both from the Pogue Collection—the most valuable gold coin ever produced by the United States Mint—which brought in $8.4 million.

The next big event for Stack's Bowers will be their June 2-4 Showcase Auction, which will take place at their brand new Costa Mesa, California, headquarters and auction gallery. American currency, tokens, and medals can be consigned until April 8th for the sale in June.

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