The Paquet design. This die cracked immediately through the stars on the left side and through the date on later examples. Roger Burdette reports Mint archive records dated March 20, 1877 which state that "Anthony Paquet left pair of half dollar dies with Coiner to have them turned down to fit the mint’s presses", thus his design was ready fairly early in 1877.
Only 5 examples are known from this obverse die as follows:
1) Doughty 4/1891, Reed-Durham Museum (P262) – ICG64 dark tone, to view, click here.
2) Judd, Merkin 6/70, Bass-HWBRF, B/M 5/99 – PCGS65 - Pollock plate
3) Col Green (B.G. Johnson 4/12/46 invoice), Dibello-Stacks 5/70, Johnson-Hughes 1/79, Evans-B/M8/98, Superior 7/03, Heritage 11/03, Heritage 8/04 as NGC65, Simpson collection - PCGS64, illustrated above.
4) Farouk-Sothebys 2/54, Cox-Stacks 4/62, 66 ANA, Coronet Coin FPL, Merkin 2/71, Sieck-81 ANA, Fred-B/M 11/95, Martin Paul – cleaned, Superior 5/96 (not sold), Superior 9/96 as NGC64, Saul Teichman, It was artificially toned now dipped and bought back by NGC, Heritage 1/97 (as ex-Dibello), Heritage FPL’s 1/97-10/97, Heritage 1/98 (not sold), Heritage 2/98-6/98 FPL, Superior 9/98, Heritage 7/03, ANR 9/03, Heritage 8/04 - NGC62
5) Rothchild-Stacks 10/03, Queller-Heritage 1/09 - NGC65
A second obverse die having the date a little further left was also created and is illustrated in Pollock but was not assigned a separate number. This latter die is only known from a single silver specimen and is ex Higgy, Champa, Harry W. Bass Jr. Research Foundation. To view an image of this coin, click here.
This design was also struck in copper J1541/P1712 with 6 or 7 known.
For additional information on this and all 1877 half dollars, click here.
Incomplete obverse JA1877-7/P3437 and reverse JA1877-8/P3440 die trials in lead are also known.
Photo courtesy of Bowers and Merena.