1795 O-109 Half Dollar Appearing in ANA Auction
Though considered Rarity-4 (121-160 known), the 1795 O-109 Flowing Hair half dollar is deceptively scarce. Our firm has handled just 27 examples over the past 15 years, averaging out to fewer than two coins per year, the majority of which were graded VF-20 or lower. Over the same period, we have offered 70 1879 Flowing Hair Gold Stellas and 686 MCMVII (1907) High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagles.
We are thrilled to present the finest known example from the O-109 dies as a featured highlight of our August 2019 ANA Auction. With provenance to the historic Garrett Collection, it is a significant treasure in the early half dollar series.
Subtle prooflike reflectivity in the fields complements the more satiny devices. Swaths of pale peach patina are marbled across each side, set against faint golden iridescent surfaces. The obverse features a collection of thin cracks at the date and stars 12, 13, and 15, along with multiple clash marks around the devices. The devices are exceptionally sharp for this marriage, displaying intricate definition to Liberty’s feature and the eagle’s feathers. Overall it is very pleasing and absolutely desirable.
This piece is undisputedly the finest known example from these dies and is also the only Uncirculated specimen, a status it holds by a decent margin. It sits on the top of Steve Herman’s AMBPR Condition Census with a grade of "Prooflike 60" and is rivaled by only the AU-55 (NGC) Richmond specimen in second place. Steve Tompkins corroborates this ranking in his 2015 work on the series, listing the Condition Census as: 60, 55, 50, 45, 45, 40. In reference to the present specimen, he notes that O-109 (T-16) is "very rare in uncirculated condition, with only one example currently known."
This coin has been long acknowledged by modern scholars but has proven elusive over the past several decades. It first appeared on the market as part of our legendary sale of the Garrett Collection, Part I, in November 1979 almost exactly 40 years ago. Described as "Brilliant Uncirculated, MS-60" in lot 271, it brought $18,500. It then traded privately soon after and has since been held closely in a private collection, having been third-party graded for the first time in recent months. We are delighted to once again offer this incredible piece to a new generation of collectors. It represents an important opportunity for those seeking the best of the early half dollar series; it simply cannot be improved upon.
This incredible Uncirculated 1795 O-109 half dollar will be a featured highlight of our August 2019 ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction, where it will be sold alongside incredible rarities from the Taraszka Collection, the ESM Collection, and many others. Contact us now to secure your copy of this incredible catalog! Call 800-566-2580 or email [email protected]. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.