Morgan Half Dollar Pattern

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Morgan's 1877 Half Dollar Patterns For more on Morgan Half Dollar Patterns try USPatterns.com

George T. Morgan designed four obverses, I-IV, and 7 reverses, A-G for the Morgan Half Dollar. The most important being the J1509/P1663 as it was the prototype for the 1878 silver dollar. Patterns were struck in copper and silver.
I've broken this page down into 3 sections.
Section 1 is photos of specific die pattern combinations. Since most die pattern combinations were struck in silver and copper, I've only included either the silver or copper photos, not both. The text for each pattern will have a link to it's sister pattern.
Section 2 is divided into individual photos of the four obverses and seven reverses Morgan designed.
Section 3 is photos from auction houses of specific patterns by Judd/Pollock number.
To increase or decrease photos, use ctrl and - or ctrl + (Ctrl is the comtrol button at the bottom left of your keyboard)

Section 1

Specific patterns by number

J1503/P1664 below. Only one example is known ex Maris 6/1886, Garrett-JHU, Garrett I, Fred-B/M 11/95 as PCGS63, K. Goldman as NGC64, Superior 7/03, ANR 12/03 as NGC63 dipped
Uspatterns 2116 60326882 J1503.jpg
J1503/P1656 below. Same obverse as Judd1503/Pollock1664 but paired with a different reverse.
Uspatterns 2116 59984877 J1503 P1656.jpg
J1504/P1658 below. Photo by Doug Plasencia and is courtesy of Bowers and Merena and the Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation.
Uspatterns 2116 60740145 J1504 P1658.jpg
J1505/P1667 below. Struck in copper. J1505 was only struck from this obverse die. This design was also struck in silver J1504/P1666 with only 2 known from this obverse die.
Uspatterns 2116 61167804 J1505 P1667.jpg
J1506/P1668 below. The reverse, showing a 7 sided shield was in the works by February 1877 when Morgan sent pencil sketches to Mint director Henry Linderman. Photo courtesy of Superior. This design was also struck in copper only from this obverse die J1507/P1669.
Uspatterns 2116 61579408 J1506 P1668.jpg
The following sketches were sent to Mint Director Henry Linderman by George T. Morgan in February 26, 1877. They show the 7 sided shield design as used on J1506-7/P1668-9 & J1506/P1660 and J1522-3/P1686-7. Photos courtesy of Roger Burdette.
Uspatterns 2116 74677422 J1506-7P1668-9 and J1506 P1660 and J1522-3 P1686-7..jpg
J1506/P1660 below. Struck in silver. Only 3 examples of known.This is a composite. Photo by Doug Plasencia and is courtesy of Bowers and Merena and the Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation.
Uspatterns 2116 61351006 J1506 P1660.jpg
J1507/P1669 below is another example, The Brand, Cox, Champa, Sieck, Fred example. Photo courtesy of Saul Teichman. This design was also struck in silver J1506/P1668 with 2 known from this obverse die and 3 known of J1506/P1660 struck with the other obverse die.
Uspatterns 1677 3898087 J1507 P1669.jpg
J1509/P1663 below. Obverse III and reverse G used on the J1509/1663 below.
This design became the first prototype for the silver dollar of the following year J1550/P1725. Research by Robert W. Julian dates this to late August or early September 1877. (Photo by Doug Plasencia and is courtesy of Bowers and Merena.)
Uspatterns 2116 62379084 J1509 P1663 26 Dec 2010.jpg
J1510/P1674 below, Struck in silver.The arrangement of the motto "E Pluribus Unum" is believed inspired by Morgan's eagle design J1545/P1718 and, per Robert W. Julian, was likely made after June 1877. Morgan's initial "M" is on Liberty's neck. Photo by Doug Plasencia and is courtesy of Bowers and Merena and the Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation. This design was also struck in copper J1511/P1675 with only 4 known.
Uspatterns 2116 62760208 J1510 P1674.jpg
J1512/P1676 below.The reverse of this design with minor modifications was used on the famous 1879 Schoolgirl dollar J1608-J1610/P1804-P1806.
This design was also struck in copper J1513/P1677 with at least 9 known. Photo by Doug Plasencia and is courtesy of Bowers and Merena and the Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation.
Uspatterns 2116 63190430 J1512 P1676.jpg
J1515/P1679 below. This design was also struck in silver J1514/P1678 with at least 7 known. Photo courtesy of Heritage.
Uspatterns 2126 110642 J1515 P1679.jpg
J1517/P1681 below. This design was also struck in silver J1516/P1680 with only 5 known. Photo courtesy of the Durham Western Heritage Museum.
Uspatterns 2116 64181677 J1517 P1681.jpg
J1518/P1682 below. Struck in silver. Only a single example is known. This design was also struck in copper J1519/P1683 with only 3 known. Photo courtesy of American Numismatic Rarities.
Uspatterns 2116 64322593 J1518 P1682.jpg
J1520/P1684 below. Struck in silver. This design was also struck in copper J1521/P1685 with only 3 or 4 known. Photo courtesy of Saul Teichman.
Uspatterns 2116 64678335 J1520 P1684.jpg
J1522/P1686 below. Struck in Silver. This design was also struck in copper J1523/P1687 with only 3 or 4 known. Photo courtesy of the Durham Western Heritage Museum.
Uspatterns 2116 65111068 J1522 P1686.jpg
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Section 2

Morgan Half Dollars Patterns Separated By Individual Obverse and Reverse.

Below is the four different obverses and seven reverses used on Morgan's half dollar patterns. See " Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars. " by Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis. Page 79 shows the design combinations and page 81 shows photos of the four obverses and seven reverses. Page 79 and 80 gives the written descriptions of the obverse and reverses. Below are photos of those obverses and reverses. Obverse and Reverse photos, Copyrighted© Images on loan to VAMworld courtesy ©Heritage Auctions
Obverse I and II below. (Obverse II is missing and will be added.)
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1516, Pollock-1680, High R.7, PR65 Cameo PCGS. Obv.jpg
Obverse III and IV below. (Obverse III would be used as the prototype for the 1878 silver dollar.)
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1504, Pollock-1658, High R.7, PR67 NGC Obv.jpg1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1510, Pollock-1674, High R.7, PR66 NGC Obv.jpg
Reverse A and B below.
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1514, Pollock-1678, Low R.7, PR67 Cameo NGC Rev.jpg1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1516, Pollock-1680, High R.7, PR65 Cameo PCGS. Rev.jpg
Reverse C and D below.
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1512, Pollock-1676, High R.7, PR62 NGC rev.jpg1877 50C Morgan's Liberty Head Half Dollar, Judd-1506, Pollock-1668, High R.7, PR63 PCGS Rev.jpg
Reverse E and F below.
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1504, Pollock-1658, High R.7, PR67 NGC Rev.jpg1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1503, Pollock-1656, 1664, High R.7, PR63 Cameo NGC Rev.jpg
Reverse G below. (Reverse G would be used as the prototype for the 1878 silver dollar.)
1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1510, Pollock-1674, High R.7, PR66 NGC Rev.jpg
...............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Section 3

Past Auction House Sales

Rarely Encountered 1877 Half Dollar Pattern Morgan Obverse Design, Ex: Farouk Pollock-1656, PR63 Cameo

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1503, Pollock-1656, 1664, High R.7, PR63 Cameo NGC. Sold for: $23,000.00
Design. The obverse features Morgan's head of Liberty facing left, wearing a cap with ears of wheat and cotton bolls. Two groups of stars surround the bust, seven to the left and six to the right. E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed above the head and the date is below. The intricate reverse design displays an eagle on a shield, clutching an olive branch and three arrows. The shield is tightly surrounded by a laurel wreath and a scroll bearing the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The peripheral inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above and HALF DOLLAR below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Andrew Pollock noted there were two varieties of Judd-1503, which he designated Pollock-1656 and Pollock-1664. The present coin is Pollock-1656, characterized by a short leaf beneath the I in PLURIBUS and a long, slender truncation of the bust. Pollock credits Harry Bass with the discovery of the two varieties. USPatterns.com lists a census of just four surviving specimens of Pollock-1656. The discerning pattern specialist will not let this opportunity slip by.
Physical Description. Deeply mirrored fields contrast boldly with fully frosted devices to produce a delightful cameo effect. Hints of iridescent blue and gold toning accent the surfaces, creating remarkable eye appeal. A few hairlines in the fields account for the grade. The present specimen is the only coin to receive the highly regarded Cameo designation at either of the leading grading services (11/08).
Provenance. Ex: King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1970; June Sale Part II (Stack's, 6/1984), lot 1242; Randolph S. Rothschild Collection (Stack's, 10/2003), lot 1090.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61838)

Full Coin Photos

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Extremely Rare 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Judd-1504, Pollock-1658, PR67 Sold for: $43,125.00

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1504, Pollock-1658, High R.7, PR67 NGC.
Design. The obverse features Morgan's head of Liberty facing left, wearing a cap with ears of wheat and cotton bolls. Two groups of stars surround the bust, seven to the left and six to the right. E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed above the head and the date is below. The reverse has an eagle displayed on a shield with three arrows in its left claw and an olive branch in its right claw. A round band frames and passes beneath a shield, lettered IN GOD WE TRUST. Around the shield and band is a laurel wreath, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the outer border, and HALF DOLLAR below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Pollock describes two different obverse dies, distinguished by the relationship between the leaves and RI. This pattern variety, Pollock-1658, has the leaves and letters separated. The other variety, Pollock-1666, has the leaves and letters, especially R, touching.
According to Saul Teichman at USPatterns.com, there are only four examples of the Pollock-1658 variant known, and just two of the Pollock-1666 version. Extended provenances are available at that website. The Queller specimen is the finest of all six examples of Judd-1504:
--Pollock-1658. Queller Specimen. PR67 NGC.
--Pollock-1658. Stack's (10/2000). PR66 NGC.
--Pollock-1658. Bass Specimen. PR64 PCGS.
--Pollock-1658. Farouk Specimen. PR63 NGC.
--Pollock-1666. Garrett Specimen. Proof.
--Pollock-1666. Saul Teichman Collection. VF.
Physical Description. An impressive Superb Gem, this pattern has fully and deeply mirrored fields around lustrous devices, and perhaps deserves a Cameo designation. Both sides have gorgeous gold, pale blue, and iridescent toning.
Provenance. Ex: Stack's private treaty.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61839)
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Lot #7385. 1877 Pattern Half Dollar. Judd-1504, Pollock-1666. Rarity-7+. Proof-63 (NGC)

NGC Census: just one in all grades. PCGS# 61839.
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Impressive 1877 Judd-1506 Half Dollar Pattern Sold for: $25,300.00

1877 50C Morgan's Liberty Head Half Dollar, Judd-1506, Pollock-1668, High R.7, PR63 PCGS. Essentially a miniature of Morgan's famous dollar design, dated 1877. The reverse has an eagle on top of a shield, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST to the left, above, and right of the shield. This entire design is enclosed within a wreath with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around and HALF DOLLAR below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
There are currently just five examples of Judd-1506 known, and these exist from two different obverse dies! Andrew Pollock assigned two different numbers to these dies. Pollock-1660 has a short leaf below the I of PLURIBUS, with three examples known. Pollock-1668 has a long leaf at this location, touching the base of that letter, with just two known pieces. This example, from the Harry Bass Collection, is the Pollock plate coin for his number 1668. It is nicely detailed with fully mirrored fields and a trace of hazy toning along the borders. The devices are lustrous with a resultant light cameo contrast, perhaps sufficient for a Cameo designation from PCGS. Both sides exhibit light hairlines that limit the grade. This is an incredible piece, a coin that will be a prized possession by its new owner.
The specialty of collecting 1877 pattern half dollars provides one of the most challenging of all numismatic pursuits. Many cabinets, including some very famous collections, have never had even a single 1877 pattern half dollar. It is estimated that fewer than 200 pattern half dollars of this year exist, and this total population must be divided up among 44 different varieties. The Jones Beach Collection contains seven different examples, a truly remarkable accomplishment.
Through the assistance of Saul Teichman and USPatterns.com, we are pleased to present extensive pedigree information about this coin and the other 1877 half dollar patterns in the present sale.
PR65 PCGS. P-1668. Dr. Edward Maris (6/1886); Garrett Collection (Stack's, 3/1976); Morris Evans (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998); Superior (7/2003); M. Hagen; R.Kay.
PR63 PCGS. The piece offered here. P-1668. Ira S. Reed (1941); Monroe Collection; Armand Champa (Bowers and Ruddy, 5/1972), lot 1060; Harry W. Bass, Jr. (Bowers and Merena, 5/1999), lot 1217; Superior (7/1999 FPL); Superior (9/1999); 2002 ANA Sale.
PR66 PCGS. P-1660. DiBello Collection (Stack's, 5/1970), lot 384; Rudy Sieck (Bowers and Ruddy, 1981 ANA), lot 229; Superior (7/1993).
PR65 PCGS. P-1660. Dr. J. Hewitt Judd; Stack's (3/1980), lot 714; M. Hagen.
Choice Proof. P-1660. King Farouk (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1970; Stack's (6/1984), lot 1243; NASAC (6/1986).
From The Jones Beach Collection. (#61841)
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1877 Morgan Half Dollar in Copper Judd-1509, PR65 Brown Sold for: $20,700.00

Ex: Long Beach (Heritage, 2/2005), lot 9865. (#61844)
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Pollock Plate 1877 Judd-1510 Half Dollar Morgan Design, Silver, PR66 Sold for: $40,250.00

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1510, Pollock-1674, High R.7, PR66 NGC.
Design. The obverse has the basic Morgan Liberty head facing left, with E PLURIBUS UNUM in large letters to the left and right. Below, the date is in small numerals, with two stars left and four right of the date. Above are seven additional stars. Although not identical, the reverse design is similar to the adopted Morgan dollar design of 1878, of course with the denomination expressed as HALF DOLLAR. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. There are just five known examples of Judd-1510, according to Saul Teichman at USPatterns.com, and just four of those are collectible--hence the High R.7 rarity rating on the modified Sheldon scale. In addition, the same design was created in copper (Judd-1511), with just four examples known.
Physical Description. Both sides of this silver piece have impeccable cameo contrast, although this piece is not designated as such by NGC. The devices are pale blue, with deeper blue toning over the fully mirrored fields. It is an amazing Premium Gem proof with a high degree of aesthetic desirability.
Census. Expanded provenances of each of the five examples are available at USPatterns.com. Teichman considers the Smithsonian Institution coin to be finest known, followed closely by the Queller specimen:
--Smithsonian Institution. Proof.
--Queller Specimen. PR66 NGC.
--Bass Specimen. PR65 PCGS.
--Woodin-Newcomer Specimen. PR64 PCGS.
--Farouk Specimen. Proof, cleaned.
Ex: Stack's private treaty (12/1987).
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61848)
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Spectacular 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Pattern Judd-1510, PR65 Cameo Ex: Bass Sold for: $80,500.00

Ex: J. Hewitt Judd; Lester Merkin (6/1970); Bass I (5/1999), lot 1218; M. Hagen; ANR-Stack's (11/2006). (#61848)
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Extremely Influential 1877 Half Dollar Pattern Six Examples Known Judd-1512, PR62 Sold for: $14,950.00

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1512, Pollock-1676, High R.7, PR62 NGC.
Design. The obverse features Morgan's head of Liberty facing left inside a beaded circle. There are 13 stars arranged in two arcs outside the circle, six left and seven right. The inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM is above and the date below. On the reverse, a beaded circle encloses a defiant eagle facing left perched on a thick scroll. The scroll carries the inscription IN GOD WE TRUST, with three arrows and an olive branch behind. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and the denomination HALF DOLLAR is below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Morgan's memorable Liberty head was used , with slight modifications, on 17 different pattern designs in 1877. Of course, it was also adopted for use on the obverse of the Morgan silver dollar, which began production in 1878. The model for Morgan's design was reportedly a Philadelphia school teacher, Miss Anna W. Williams. Williams was always shy about her role as model, and tried to avoid notoriety as the famous "Silver Dollar Girl."
The intricate reverse design was also used again, with minor revisions, on the famous " Schoolgirl" dollar pattern of 1879. The impressive "defiant" eagle was also borrowed by Charles Barber many years later for the reverse of the Panama-Pacific quarter eagle. Andrew Pollock believes the inspiration for this striking motif was a sketch drawn by Titian Peale, circa 1838.
USPatterns.com states only six examples of Judd-1512 are extant (see USPatterns.com for a detailed census of surviving examples). The present coin has been off the market since 1984, and offerings of any example of Judd-1512 are few and far between. We expect intense competition for this influential, historically important pattern.
Physical Description. Attractive golden-rose toning accents the well-preserved surfaces. The strike is a little soft on the hair around Liberty's ear, as often seen on this design. Reportedly cleaned in the past, as many of King Farouk's coins were, light hairlines can be seen in the mirrored fields. Overall, a pleasing example of this extremely important issue. NGC Census: 1 in PR62, 4 finer. PCGS Population: None in PR62, 2 finer (12/08).
Provenance. Ex: King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1975; June Sale Part II (Stack's, 6/1984), lot 1245.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61850)
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Highly Collectible 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Pattern in Copper Judd-1513, PR65 Brown Sold for: $29,900.00

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1877 Morgan Half Dollar in Silver, Judd-1514 PR67 Star.jpg Cameo, Finest at NGC Sold for: $48,875.00

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1514, Pollock-1678, Low R.7, PR67 Star.jpg Cameo NGC.
Design. The obverse is similar to the Morgan dollar, but the head of Liberty is surrounded by a beaded circle, with 13 stars and E PLURIBUS UNUM around the edge. The date 1877 is below. On the reverse a so-called "defiant eagle" is perched on a scroll inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST. An olive branch points left, and three arrowheads point right. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Despite the popular terminology, the defiant eagle, while it may have its wings spread, is rather dyspeptic in appearance. The pose seems staid and monumental rather than lifelike, and the unnaturally heavy wings appear to be Oriental fans. This bird would never have flown. George T. Morgan seems to have had a peculiarly difficult time engraving our national bird, and none of his attempts are more than qualified successes.
Numismatic art critic Cornelius Vermeule comments concerning the reverse of the Morgan dollar in his recently released second edition of Numismatic Art in America:
"It can also be noted from the snatches of correspondence quoted above that George T. Morgan was unsatisfied with the tradition of Peter, the then-stuffed eagle at the Philadelphia Mint. The 'studies in nature' that he would seem to have procured for the eagle, however, must have had little effect on his oeuvre, for the bird on the reverse of the 1878 silver dollar is much more removed from reality than the creatures on some of the patterns for trade dollars in 1873. Some details, to be sure, like the broad tail, betray ornithological research, but in total substance the eagle with wings spread is as heraldic as his early 19th-century counterparts with the shields on their stomachs. Clearly, Morgan's dollar was a refreshing step away from the standard Gobrecht-styled seated Liberty with 'sandwich-board' eagle, but the decisive moment of revolution in American numismatic art had not yet arrived."
Physical Description. The coin is virtually flawless; the only interruptions in the surfaces are a few tiny lint marks that were struck into the piece at the time of minting. The centers are brilliant and surrounded by a ring of golden-brown toning at the margins. The fields are deeply mirrored, and the devices present stark cameo contrast on both obverse and reverse. In PR67 Star.jpg Cameo, this piece is the single finest certified at NGC. The finest at PCGS is a PR64 example (11/08).
Census. Per USPatterns.com, only seven examples are known. See that reference for a detailed census, from which this provenance is also expanded.
Ex: Maj. Lenox Lohr; R.E. Cox Jr., private treaty transaction (1959), $250; Cox Collection (Stack's, 4/1962), lot 2266; Champa Collection (American Auction Association, 5/1972), lot 1063; Stack's private treaty transaction (2/1978).
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61852)
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Previously Unknown 1877 Judd-1515 Half Dollar PR64 Red and Brown Sold for: $23,000.00

The provenance of all five known examples of this pattern issue are recorded at USPatterns.com. However, the present piece is different than any of those five, so it is a sixth known example. Illustrations of the other five may be found as follows:
1. PR67 Brown NGC. American Numismatic Rarities (6/2005), lot 417.
2. PR66 Red and Brown PCGS. American Numismatic Rarities (3/2005), lot 1070.
3. PR65 Red and Brown PCGS. Superior (10/1989), lot 3274.
4. Gem Proof. 1981 ANA (Bowers and Ruddy, 7/1981), lot 234.
5. PR64 Red and Brown PCGS. The present specimen with no previous record.
6. Choice Proof. Bowers and Ruddy (11/1976), lot 981.
This near-Gem is an exceptional example of the extremely rare 1877 Judd-1515 half Dollar. Although they are a little subdued, the surfaces on both sides are much closer to Red than they are to Brown. The devices have delicate medium brown toning with accents of pale blue and lilac. A remarkable and extremely important half dollar. (#71853)
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Marvelous 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Pattern Struck in Silver, Judd-1516, PR65 Cameo A Rare, Fully Struck Example Sold for: $37,375.00

1877 50C Morgan Half Dollar, Judd-1516, Pollock-1680, High R.7, PR65 Cameo PCGS. Ex: Simpson. The obverse features George T. Morgan's head of Liberty facing left inside a beaded circle. Thirteen stars are arranged in two arcs outside, six left and seven right. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above and the date below. The central figure on the reverse is an eagle with spread wings inside a beaded circle. The eagle's wing feathers are larger than on other varieties. The eagle is standing on a scroll inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST, with an olive branch and three arrows behind; unusually, the topmost and lowest arrowheads have a zigzag shape. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and HALF DOLLAR is below. Struck in silver with a reeded edge.
The extensive series of pattern half dollars of 1877 is a collector's delight today. The Morgan half dollar is a special favorite, eagerly pursued by fans of the series. But nice silver examples such as this piece are considerably more elusive than the copper specimens. The Queller Collection, Part Two lacked an example in silver. The present coin is tied for numerically finest certified at PCGS with one other piece, a Deep Cameo. This silver-white Gem boasts considerably reflectivity and clean, pristine surfaces that border on Deep Cameo. There is a hint of gold near the rims, absolutely no distractions, a full strike, and tremendous eye appeal. Most of the known examples show a weak strike. We believe this coin to be one of perhaps five that exist.
From The Bob Simpson Collection. (#61854)
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Extraordinary 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Pattern Finest Certified Brown Example Judd-1517, PR66 Brown

Design. The obverse features Morgan's head of Liberty facing left inside a beaded circle. There are 13 stars arranged in two arcs outside the circle, six left and seven right. The inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM is above and the date below. The central figure of the reverse die is an eagle with spread wings inside a beaded circle. The eagle's wing feathers are larger than on other varieties. The eagle is standing on a scroll inscribed IN GOD WE TRUST, with an olive branch and three arrows behind. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and the denomination HALF DOLLAR is below. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.
Commentary. Morgan's Liberty head design is well known to all collectors as the device used for the obverse of regular-issue silver dollars, beginning in 1878. R.W. Julian has shown this design was actually the first of four designs prepared by Morgan in 1877. The model for Liberty was Miss Anna Williams of Philadelphia. The reverse design is similar to the motif used on Judd-1514, but the feathers in the eagle's wings are larger and fewer in number.
An early auction appearance of Judd-1517 was in the Maris Collection (H.P. Smith, 6/1886), lot 198. Maris was an avid collector of patterns, and his collection included examples of 20 different 1877 half dollar patterns. Many of these coins were purchased by T. Harrison Garrett at the sale.
USPatterns.com indicates eight specimens of Judd-1517 are extant (please see the website for detailed census information). The present coin is a virtually unimprovable specimen and last appeared at auction 37 years ago. Advanced collectors should bid accordingly.
Physical Description. The strike shows only minimal softness on Liberty's hair, as usually seen on this issue. Lovely, iridescent toning enhances the undisturbed surfaces in shades of crimson, green, and gold. This specimen exudes spectacular eye appeal. The present coin is the finest certified in the Brown designation at both NGC and PCGS (11/08).
Provenance. Ex: 1971 ANA (Stack's, 8/1971), lot 475.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two. (#61855)
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Rare and Popular 1877 Morgan Half Dollar Pattern, Judd-1519

1877 50C Morgan's Liberty Head Half Dollar, Judd-1519, Pollock-1683, R.8, PR66 Brown NGC. The obverse shows Liberty (virtually identical to the Morgan dollar), facing left surrounded by a beaded circle. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above, the date 1877 is below. The reverse depicts an eagle perched atop an olive branch and a bundle of arrows and superimposed over a shield. The shield is centered in a laurel wreath with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST on a pleated scroll above. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is at the upper periphery, and the denomination HALF DOLLAR is at the bottom periphery. Struck in copper with a reeded edge. Multicolored iridescence peers through the crimson-copper and cobalt toning that dominates this coin's outward appearance. A lovely, pristine Gem that should be of obvious importance to pattern specialists and Morgan dollar collectors alike.
Just three examples of this pattern variety are currently known. Saul Teichman comments: "The Garrett coin, originally believed to be a silver J1518, then described and sold as a silverplated J1519 due to its light weight, was recently tested and did turn out in fact to be silver."
Choice Proof, stained. The Judd plate coin. Dr. J. Hewitt Judd; Stacks (3/1980), lot 717; Robert Hughes (7/1980), lot 103; Superior (2/1982).
PR64 Red and Brown PCGS. The Pollock plate coin. Major Lenox Lohr; Davidson Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, River Oaks, 11/1976), lot 982; Harry W. Bass, Jr. (Bowers and Merena, 5/1999), lot 1222.
PR66 Brown NGC. The piece offered here. Morris Evans (Bowers and Merena, 8/1998); Kagin's; Teletrade (4/10/1999); Teletrade (8/2/1999); Superior (3/2000); Heritage (1/2001).
From The Jones Beach Collection. (#71857)
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1877 Morgan Half Dollar, PR63 Red and Brown Judd-1521, Ex: Farouk Sold for: $16,100.00

Attractive orange-red patina covers the mirrored fields, while the central devices are accented with tones of blue and crimson. Reportedly cleaned long ago, the surfaces have retoned nicely. A rare and desirable prize for the advanced collector. PCGS has certified two coins total, this piece and one in PR66 Red and Brown. NGC has also graded two pieces total, each of which is graded PR66 Red and Brown (2/10).
Ex: King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 1976; 188th Auction Sale (Bolender, 3/ 1955), lot 1480; River Oaks (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1976), lot 983; Arnold and Romisa Collection (Bowers and Merena, 9/1984), lot 390; Fred/Ward Collection (Bowers and Merena, 11/1995), lot 2279; Pre-Long Beach (Superior, 2/2005); Drew St. John (American Numismatic Rarities, 6/2005), lot 418; (Bowers and Merena, 8/2005); Pre-Long Beach (Goldberg, 2/2006); June Sale (Stack's, 6/2006). (#71859)
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