Another 1874-S WB-4 Seated Liberty half
I've posted this 1874-S before in the SLH thread because it is one of my favorite SLH's on account of its nice reverse toning. While checking my SLH's against the varieties listed in Mr. Bill Bugert's excellent book on die pairings, "A Register of Liberty Seated Half Dollar Varieties, Volume I, San Francisco Branch Mint", I found out that it is a very rare die pairing as well, It's a WB-4, which is an R-8 according to Bill Bugert (1-3 known). Mr. Bugert writes:
"This date also has a super-rarity – a minute S with a different mintmark position. This die marriage was rumored to exist at the time Randy and I wrote the WB book in 1992 but we were unable to borrow the coin for study. The California owner recognized its rarity and feared its loss through the mail but, ultimately, we got our hands on it and it is featured as die marriage WB-4. After many years of searching, Randy and I have not been able to locate another.
This die marriage is currently unique and the photographed coin belongs to a prominent California collector. It is a pairing of new obverse and new reverse dies and was rumored but unverified at the time Randy and I wrote the WB book. The mintmark position is the key to identifying this die marriage; it is lower and more to the right than the other more common minute S reverse for this date."
This coin purchased raw from eBay means there are at least two examples known. Does any other SLH collector here own or have seen another example?
At the moment, It's in a Dansco album. Does PCGS recognize and print Wiley Bugert variety numbers on their labels if asked? It seems to me that they do.
Finally, if the popular 1875-S micro S, with about 30 known specimens, brings over $1000 in VF. What might an 1874-S WB-4 in VF20 bring on the market? Is it too scarce a date and mintmark or obscure a variety to generate any extra premium? Anyway, it's been fun to discover I own a very rare die pairing.