Published: June 13, 2006
With five live sessions plus an online session left to go, Heritage Auction Galleries’ reported that its official auction of the Central States Numismatic Society Convention had already realized more than $10.5 million, including $1,322,500 for the 1792 half disme, which hails from the Floyd Starr collection, purchased by a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
“This is not only a spectacular coin, but a significant piece of American history as well,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage. “Despite opinions to the contrary, this issue is the first circulating American coin struck under authority of the Mint Act of April 1792.”
A storied and exciting piece of American coinage, the 1792 half disme was struck at the behest of Thomas Jefferson, who, as head of the Department of State, also had charge of the nation’s mint. Jefferson ordered the coins made on July 11, 1792, and took delivery of them on July 13, 1792, when his datebook reads, “Recd. From the Mint 1500 half dimes of the new coinage.”
“The half disme offered here, from the Floyd Starr collection, is probably the finest known example, and it is certified by PCGS as a specimen strike, the only such piece to receive this designation,” added Rohan. “It is a spectacular, fully struck coin.
“Given its obvious specimen status,” Rohan said, “this might well have been the very first United States coin actually released by the Treasury Department, perhaps a special gift to a friend of the United States or even to George Washington himself. That notwithstanding, this is, by its very nature, an important piece of American history.”
Prices reported include buyer’s premium. For information, 800-872-6467 or www.heritageauctions.com.
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