1898-O 50C MS 67
Finest known! Like nearly all Branch Mint Barber coins, the 1898 New Orleans half dollar was not saved at the time of issue. The exception as we all know now, was visionary collector John Clapp, who obtained super Gem examples from each of the Mints in the year of issue. John Clapp obtained this amazing Gem directly from the New Orleans Mint in December, 1898! The Coin stayed in the Clapp collection until 1942 when Louis Eliasberg bought the entire Clapp Collection intact. So from 1898 to 1996 (when the Eliasberg collection was sold at auction), this coin had only two owners (actually three including John Clapp’s son). Amazing when you consider this is absolutely the finest known. In 36 years, PCGS has only graded this one amazing Gem MS67 and none have ever been graded higher. The surfaces are incredibly clean and mark-free. The strike is ultra bold. The luster is frosty and iridescent under light golden original toning. Easily the finest we’ve ever seen in the past 50 years!