1807 Half Dollar - 1807 50C Draped Bust PCGS F12 CAC, O-105. This circulated Draped Bust 1807 Half Dollar is a full Fine that shows even wear on both sides of the piece. The coin has some strong drapery lines, and Liberty’s hair is outlined from the forehead past the ear and down the neck. The devices are a light, pleasant silver-grey, and the fields are darker grey with much darker toning towards the rim. The fields are original and clean for the grade, with no individual distractions worthy of mention. The CAC sticker indicates that the coin fully merits the assigned grade and is a premium quality piece.
The coin is identified as O-105 because the 1 in the date is joined to the curl and the beak and star are joined point to point. The Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle half dollar was made from 1801 to 1807. It was designed by Robert Scot and shows a draped bust of Liberty facing right. Above is LIBERTY, and below is the date. Seven six-pointed stars are to the left and six are to the right. The portrait, taken from a drawing by the famous artist Gilbert Stuart, is of Ann Bingham. John Eckstein translated this drawing to models for Engraver Robert Scot. Evidently Eckstein made the models poorly, which might explain why Stuart’s family refused to acknowledge his role in the coinage design.
The reverse shows the eagle with up stretched wings and a Union shield on its breast. A banner inscribed E PLURIBUS UNUM curls across the left wing and under the right. Except for the wing tips, the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc near the periphery. Thirteen stars are above the eagle’s head under the clouds in an arc pattern. Dentils are near the edge on both sides of the coin. The edge is lettered FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR with ornamentation between the words.
In what some have called colossal design blunder, Robert Scot placed the arrows in the wrong talon. On the left side, the eagle’s right talon, arrows symbolize aggressive militarism. They should have been placed in the left talon with the olive branch in the right. If this rearrangement was unintentional, it shows a new, inexperienced country that can’t even get its symbolism correct. If this was a deliberate rearrangement, it shows a young country taking an aggressive stance during a time of conflict. In 1799 the country was engaged with France in an undeclared naval war. Perhaps this symbolism was being used to make a statement to France and others about the sovereignty of the United States.
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