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1840 (O) Seated Half Dollar Medium Letters

 
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 Posted 12/08/2021  02:40 am Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Since coinfiend shared his cherrypick of the 1840 medium letters variety, I kept my eyes peeled. Well, it didn't take long because the next 1840 half I saw was an unattributed medium letters variety. I find the connection to the bust series, and the fact that it is a New Orleans minted coin with no mintmark fascinating. Super cool!

I really would like to keep it, as it will fit well with my bust half collection as a cool addition. But I can't afford to keep it

Thanks to coinfiend and everyone else for sharing their experiences. Knowledge is power!


Edited by jacrispies
12/08/2021 02:40 am
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 Posted 12/08/2021  08:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Not being a collector of this series, I'm curious - how do you know this is a New Orleans coin?
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 Posted 12/08/2021  10:26 am  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The medium letters variety has the reverse of the 1838 Capped Bust half dollar. They found this die and used it at the New Orleans mint, although having the reverse not bearing a mintmark. This variety is recognized in the RedBook and greysheet.
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 Posted 12/08/2021  10:46 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I see, thank you!
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 Posted 12/08/2021  11:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kool variety, what kind of premium do these bring?
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 Posted 12/08/2021  12:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice pick
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 Posted 12/08/2021  4:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add machine20 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nice one!
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 Posted 12/09/2021  01:02 am  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Kool variety, what kind of premium do these bring?

According to the October 2021 issue Greysheet, a medium letters G-4 is listed as $225, as opposed to the more common 1840 and 1840-O listed as $60 and $45 respectively. It definitely brings a notable premium, and a worthwhile variety to learn.
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 Posted 12/09/2021  10:27 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's definitely a Medium letters rev, but I can't match the die cracks to any of the New Orleans Capped Bust dies. (There are only three dies.) The only one that comes close is the one from the M to the right wing which is similar to the die used for the 1838 O and the 1839 O GR-1 variety. But it appears to meet the wing in a slightly different place.

This coin shows a clear crack running up through the F in HALF into the eagle and a strong crack through A3 to the right wing but I can't find either of those mentioned on the 38 O and 39 O varieties. There also appears to be a crack through ICA which is also not mentioned on the capped bust pieces. The 38 and 39 O GR-1 has a crack through ERIC but it is in a different location.

It would be interesting to compare this piece with other 1839 O and 1840 Medium Letter coins on Heritage and see if the reverse die could be matched up. The high grade coin pictured for the Medium Letter variety in my 2014 RedBook appears to have the same crack at the M and the F, but not the crack at A. (But the quality of the image may be the reason.)
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 Posted 12/09/2021  11:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Heymikep to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There are actually 2 different die marriages for this 1840 (O) half, WB-4 (R3) and the rarer WB-12 (R6). Both marriages have the same reverse die but different obverses.
Bust style reverse. Long thought to be a product of the Philadelphia mint, this die marriage was actually minted at New Orleans using a carried over bust reverse die from 1839 where the mintmark was on the obverse of the coin.
Among the differences on this die, the legend and denomination are larger (termed medium letters), the eagle and reverse shield are larger, the eagle's claws are open, the olive leaves and arrowheads are more spread than the "seated style."


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 Posted 12/09/2021  1:46 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Conder101 and Heymikep.

This looks like the WB-4 comparing the date fonts and locations. And it sounds like there was one reverse die used. The reverse was used on the philly 1838 bust halves, and reused in New Orleans on the 1840 Seated halves.
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 Posted 12/09/2021  2:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Heymikep to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
jacrispies, Yes it is a WB-4.
The reverse die is actually from New Orleans but the thought process was that since this coin did not have a mintmark on the reverse that it came from the Philadelphia mint. In actuality the dies were tied to the New Orleans mint from the 1838 dies used there previously.
Edited by Heymikep
12/09/2021 2:05 pm
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 Posted 12/09/2021  2:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ExoGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting thread, this!
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 Posted 12/09/2021  2:48 pm  Show Profile   Check jacrispies's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add jacrispies to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the clarification!
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