Lot 246: 1723 SILVER Wood's Hibernia PATTERN Farthing PCGS SPECIMEN STRIKE-45 Die RARITY

Early American

December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US

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Description: Wood's Hibernia
1723 Silver Wood's Hibernia Pattern Farthing PCGS SP-45 the Seated Figure's Head to the Right of "A" in HIBERNIA
1723 Wood's Hibernia, Silver Pattern Farthing. W-12500. Specimen Strike. Extremely Rare Die Variety. Seated Figure's Head to the Right of "A" in HIBERNIA. PCGS graded SP-45.
1723 Wood's Hibernia Pattern Farthing, Silver Specimen Strike PCGS SP-45. W-12500 for Type. Hi Rarity for Variety (Less than 5 Known). Ex: Eliasberg. This important Specimen is of an extremely rare and seldom seen Die Variety with the head of the seated figure to the right of the A in HIBERNIA (unlike the typically seen issue with the head directly below the A, and is also unlike nearly every other example we could trace in reference books and through 150 years of auction catalogs!) This wholesome, lightly circulated Pattern Farthing struck in Silver shows attractive light golden and blue toning on smooth semi-prooflike surfaces and has just slight high-point wear. This coin is one of the 11 Harpstrings varieties. This Specimen Die Variety Rarity in Silver with the head of the seated figure to the right of the A in HIBERNIA appears to represent one of the very rarest of striking in the Woods Hibernia series which is certainly missing in virtually every collection. Ex: Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Collection, Bowers and Merena, May 1996, Lot 33.

Ron Guth: The silver versions of the 1723 Hibernia Farthings are among the most highly prized of the series. Though considered a Pattern coinage by some, their numbers suggest a special striking of some sort. According to the cataloger of the sale of the John J. Ford, Jr. collection, the firm of A.H. Baldwin & Sons uncovered a silver tube containing 43 silver Hibernia Halfpennies, all of which were dispersed during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, they appear at auction very infrequently.

Depending on the strike, surface quality, and overall appearance, Silver Hibernia Farthings have been graded Mint State, Specimen, and Proof at various times. PCGS favors the Specimen designation based on the more than two dozen examples they have examined and certified. The Specimen (SP) designation is for special coins struck that display many characteristics of the later Proof coinage. Prior to 1817, the minting equipment and technology was limited, so these coins do not have the surfaces of later Proofs nor the evenness of strike of the "close collar" Proofs.
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