The premises are tiny and the machines work badly. The setting difficulties accumulate, aggravated by the sinking of the boat which was bringing the nitric acid necessary for the control of the gold content. The continuation of the production is limited to the double eagle, the eagle and the dollar, more user friendly than the fractional denominations. There will be no other 1854-S half and quarter eagles.
About ten quarters have survived. This proportion seems normal. At that time the numismatists were not interested in the specificities of the mint branches. The other units were circulated, worn, melted.
The half is much rarer. Its population was increased from 3 to 4 in April 2018. This scarcity has no proven explanation. It is possible that almost all of its production was provided to a single client who melted it. In addition one of the first three specimens did not reappear after an armed robbery in 1967.
The sudden surfacing of such a rarity is an event. Having failed to convince the dealers, its owner has done a better job : requesting an analysis by one of the recognized organizations for certification, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. The comparison with high definition photos of the remaining coins is flagrant : the new candidate is authentic.
This 1854-S half eagle was graded XF-45 by NGC which also verified that it is not the stolen coin. It will be sold as lot 5248 by Heritage in Philadelphia on August 16. Please watch the video shared in April by NGC to confirm this exciting discovery.
SOLD for $ 2.16M including premium