The February 2009 issue of E-Gobrecht, the Electronic Newsletter of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC), edited by Bill Bugert has a nice article by Stephen A. Crain on A Truly ‘Original’ 1840-O Half Dime With permission, here's an excerpt about an early "encapsulated" U.S. coin. -Editor In September of 2008, I serendipitously stumbled onto the pictured glass piece on eBay. The seller offered little information about the piece, except to say that it contained an “1840 United States half dime”. She described it as “cut glass” on a “star cut foot”.
The glass piece is 3- ¼” tall and 1-5/8” in diameter, except at the base where it expands to 1-7/8” in diameter.
Of greatest interest to a half dime collector, of course, is the 1840-O No Drapery V4 half dime contained within the knop.
It appears to be in borderline mint state condition, or what I would grade AU-58, with only the very slightest rub evident on the highest points of the design (Miss Liberty’s beasts and thigh).
There are no marks, dings or other distractions of any description, and the surfaces exhibit what must be considered truly “original” color.
The coin has been encapsulated in a totally sealed environment for nearly 170 years, subjected only to less than four cubic centimeters of air.
This is a fascinating piece of history, decidedly numismatically related, which provides us some insight into what ‘original’ surfaces must have looked like.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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