Click to enlargeJ1597/P1791

The "Washlady" half dollar considered today to be one of the most beautiful designs ever made by the US Mint. At that time, however, the design was not well received as, apparently, Liberty's hair and the way it was tied back was considered to be disheveled. The Washlady name dates back to the April 1891 New York Coin and Stamp auction of the F.W. Doughty collection and was probably given by David Proskey.

This design is R-6 in both silver J1597/P1791 and copper J1598/P1792 with between 12 to 15 believed to exist. A single example in white metal J1598A/P1793 ex Kaufman-RARCOA 8/78, Kagin 7/79, Ivy 2/82, Heritage 7/03, Rau-Heritage 4/18 is also known.

The illustrated example is the former Lohr, Byron Johnson-Hughes 1/79, Morris Evans-B/M 8/98 example last offered in Heritage 9/14 sale.

Photo courtesy of Superior.