1877 Pattern Morgan Half Dollar. Judd-1520, Pollock-1684. Rarity-Unique. Silver. Reeded Edge. Proof-65 (PCGS). Obv: A head of Liberty faces left, surrounded by a beaded circle, with the Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM inscribed along the upper border and the date 1877 at the lower border. Thirteen stars are arranged around the border between the motto and date, six left, seven right. Liberty is wearing a cap, the band of the cap ornamented with ears of wheat, cotton leaves and bolls. The portrait is virtually identical to that which the Mint used for regular issue Morgan dollar production beginning in 1878. Rev: An eagle displayed on a spade-shaped shield clutches three arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right. The shield partially overlaps a band inscribed with the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. A laurel wreath encircles the shield and band, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above, and the denomination HALF DOLLAR is below. This is a wonderfully original Gem, the obverse toned in blended olive, pearl gray and rose-russet patina. The reverse exhibits antique gold and steel-olive peripheral colors around a mauve-gray center. Direct lighting brings out vivid undertones of champagne-pink, powder blue and pale gold -- very attractive. A modestly cameo finish is not unmentioned on the PCGS holder, but the fields are semi-reflective and support frosty, smartly impressed design elements. The simply outstanding quality and eye appeal that are fitting complements to this coins great rarity.For many years the 1877 pattern half dollar series has been the Holy Grail of specialists. Although there are many favorites, it is generally agreed that the designs by George T. Morgan are especially beautiful. According to <em>uspatterns.com</em>, research by R.W. Julian confirms that this is the first of four half dollar obverse dies prepared by Morgan, the patterns themselves struck in February 1877. Specimens that combine this obverse with the spade-shaped shield reverse are exceedingly rare. Only three or four copper impressions (Judd-1521) are known, one of which sold as lot 4224 in our March 2012 sale of the Samuel J. Berngard Collection. The silver striking offered here is <em>unique</em>, as confirmed by the Pollock reference, the 10th edition of Judd, and the <em>uspatterns.com</em> website. We (as Bowers and Ruddy) last offered this coin in November 1979 as part of the fabulous Garrett Collection, and are pleased to do so again as part of the world class Pogue cabinet. It remains one of the most significant and desirable of all 1877 pattern Morgan half dollars, and should find a new home in another fine collection. Ex George W. Cogan, March 17, 1883; T. Harrison Garrett, to Robert and John Work Garrett, by descent, 1888; Robert Garrett interest to John Work Garrett, 1919; transfer completed 1921; John Work Garrett to the Johns Hopkins University, by gift, 1942; our (Bowers and Ruddys) sale of the Garrett Collection for the Johns Hopkins University, Part I, November 1979, lot 386; Ken Goldman; D. Novoselsky; Kagins; Superiors Elite Coin Auction of July 2003, lot 462.