The Judd-1602 half dollar is one of the most popular patterns due to the use of George T. Morgan’s portrait of Liberty, previously believed to have been modeled after Anna Williams, the daughter of Morgan’s close friend. However, a note from the Morgan Estate surfaced in a 200 sale by Craig A. Whitford Numismatic Auctions and revealing that “he just made up the obverse himself.” This portrait is essentially identical to that used on the Morgan dollar struck for circulation from 1878 through 1921, generating considerable interest in the Judd-1602 from collectors of that series. This popularity is compounded by the significant rarity, with estimates of only a dozen or so specimens known in both silver (Judd-1601) and copper.
This particular example features a complexion of pinkish and violet patina that erupts with magenta and sapphire iridescence beneath a light source. A slight reflectivity in the fields contrasts the richly frosted texture that blankets the devices. The centers are somewhat soft, as is typical, and the Mint-made die flaw on Liberty’s cheek can be found on all known specimens. Smooth beneath a glass and without noteworthy blemishes. This piece is among the very finest known, with just 1 coin ranked numerically finer across all services and color designations at Proof-67 RB (PCGS).