BG- 302 50C Liberty Octagonal 1/2 Dollar Gold 1853 “Peacock” reverse PCGS MS64 Low Rarity-4. Created by Frontier Deviercy. This design has been erroneously described as a peacock – initiated, we believe- by Kagin’s founder, Art Kagin, many years ago because of the resemblance of the rays to tail feathers. There’s greater evidence, however, that support the theory that this is a Phoenix with all of the San Francisco fires of the time. This would make sense since San Francisco adopted a Phoenix on its government seal. See Brasher Bulletin, Vol.9, #2, pp.7-10, by Jack Totheroh. Other theories include the Humbert style eagle with one adapted from the new 1853 Arrows and Rays half dollars (perhaps thinking that this design change was permanent?). Three or more were found on the wreckage of the Winfield Scott, which sailed and sank on December 1, 1853. This shipwreck is today, located off Anacapa Island, today now within the Channel Islands National Park.
The finest we’ve seen (and previously handled) is a PCGS MS65 which sold earlier this year for $7,638, presently the high-water mark for the issue.
Obv: Same Liberty head as BG-301. 13 stars, tip of bust points to 1st star, tip of coronet points to 7th star; F.D. to right of nape of neck; 1853 below bust.
Rev: Eagle clasping an arrow; rays above and in back of head; CALIFORNIA GOLD. above and 50 CENTS. below.
On die state 2 there is an obverse cud break at the 12th star. On die state 3 the break obliterates the star.