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1854 Seated Half Dollar (MS64) - What W-B Variety?

winestevenwinesteven Posts: 3,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

I'm hoping one of you can tell me the Wiley-Bugert number for this coin, and anything particularly of interest with that variety. There appears to be a die crack running from the "T" in "UNITED" down to the wing, and then continuing to the leg. Could this help identify the WB variety?

There is tremendous weakness on the reverse around the claw on the left (as we face the Eagle), as well as the fletching on the end of the arrows. Since PCGS graded this MS64, apparently this is not wear, but a weakness in the strike. Does this WB variety have anything to do with that?

Thanks.

Steve

A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/type-sets/design-type-sets/complete-dansco-7070-modified-type-set-1796-date/publishedset/213996

Best Answers

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2020 6:57AM Answer ✓


    As for the weakness in the lower central reverse, I believe the above MS-66 coin on PCGS CoinFacts is a die match,
    including the (apparent) clash marks on both sides and the weak first A in AMERICA.

    The other photos on PCGS CoinFacts do not have this weakness.
    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1854-50c-arrows/images/6279

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I posted the photo at 6:50am after your 6:47am post where you asked again about the weakness.
    I think when you clicked on "accept answer", my post got moved up to just under your original post.

    You could also just ask Bill Bugert if he has a WB- number for this die marriage.
    And a theory about what caused the reverse weakness.
    And what caused the various marks that look like clash marks, but I don't think they are the correct shape of features on the opposing dies.
    He may already be done with the 1854 die pairs in the upcoming next book.

Answers

  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2020 5:47AM

    Nice die crack, or possibly a clash mark.
    I also see what I call "file marks" (parallel lines in the field) above ITE.

    I believe the latest book from Bill Bugert stops at 1852 for Philadelphia, so 1854 should be in the book he is working on now.
    http://www.lsccweb.org/BillBugertBooks.php
    The 1993 Wiley-Bugert book did not include descriptions of every known die for 1854.

  • winestevenwinesteven Posts: 3,723 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2020 7:05AM

    @yosclimber said:
    Nice die crack, or possibly a clash mark.
    I also see what I call "file marks" (parallel lines in the field) above ITE.

    I believe the latest book from Bill Bugert stops at 1852 for Philadelphia, so 1854 should be in the book he is working on now.
    http://www.lsccweb.org/BillBugertBooks.php
    The 1993 Wiley-Bugert book did not include descriptions of every known die for 1854.

    Thanks for that hotlink. Even though Bugert has not come out in his "recent" books with die/Variety information on Liberty Seated Half Dollars from Philadelphia after 1852, I'm hoping that perhaps in the earlier works with Wiley some mention is made? EDITED - I now see your photo above of the MS66 coin, which i did NOT see when i included the following: Maybe separately, I'm also hoping someone can provide information as to the cause of the significant weakness on the reverse by that left claw and fletching on the ends of tha arrows.

    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

    My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/type-sets/design-type-sets/complete-dansco-7070-modified-type-set-1796-date/publishedset/213996
  • yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,461 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2020 6:44AM

    Here is most of the text of the 1854 page from the 1993 Wiley-Bugert book:

    MINTAGE: 2,982,000

    PROOFS: Less than 6 known.

    VARIETIES:

    Authors’ Research Effort: moderate
    Number of Die Marriages Documented: 9
    Number of Head Dies Identified: 8
    Number of Tail Dies Identified: 9
    Number of Collar Reed Counts Identified: 3 (144, 145, 146)
    Standard Diameter or Diameter Range: 1.207 to 1.211 inches
    Number of Major Varieties: 1
    WB-101. NORMAL DATE. (MANY DIES)
    There are many die marriages comprising this variety. (Breen-4845)

    COMMENTS:

    This date is readily found fully struck with strong foot support and drapery. The dies of this date are not usually found heavily cracked.
    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

    There is no variation in the placement of the date and arrows which we believe were punched into a master head die.
    Each head die is found with an arrow at each side of the date signifying a weight reduction made in 1853 from 206.25 to 192 grains.
    One tail die can be found with a heavy die cud connecting UNITE with the rim.
    “Halos” can often be found around the stars, the digits in the date, and to a lesser extent, the central device of many head dies for this date. We believe that the cause for this “halo” phenomenon can be traced back to the construction of a temporary master die for this date as well as 1853 and 1855. In each year, a regular working die was converted to a temporary master die by repunching all stars and heavily impressing a date and arrows heads. All elements were impressed with such force that the bases of the punches transferred to the die as halos around each element. These halos transferred from the master die to the working hub and subsequent working dies and coins such that early die state coins of all early dies show the phenomenon.

  • winestevenwinesteven Posts: 3,723 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 16, 2020 7:05AM

    Thanks again for that detail. EDITED - I now see your photo above of the MS66 coin, which i did NOT see when i included the following: I'm still hoping someone, if not you, can address the cause of that significant weakness on the reverse described in my earlier posts on this thread.

    Thanks again.

    Steve

    A day without fine wine and working on your coin collection is like a day without sunshine!!!

    My collecting “Pride & Joy” is my PCGS Registry Dansco 7070 Set:
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/type-sets/design-type-sets/complete-dansco-7070-modified-type-set-1796-date/publishedset/213996

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