A rare U.S. Liberty Cap half-cent coin from 1796 fetched £185,000 (Approx. $293,488) at an auction in Salisbury, England. The final price including the auctioneer’s premium was over $358,000, one of the highest prices ever for a half-cent coin.
“The coin has no early pedigree but was collected by Mark Hillary, when a schoolboy, some 55 years ago or more. Mark Hillary was a brilliant classical scholar who achieved much before his untimely death in a climbing accident in Greece at the age of 20 in 1963. He won scholarships to Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford; achieved a First in Classical Mods and was on the way to achieving a First in Greats when he died. Much of his spare time was spent at Spink’s and Seaby’s in London pursuing his hobby of coin collecting and the main part of his collection was sold at Woolley and Wallis a few years ago. The lesser coins that must have formed his original schoolboy collection, were housed in home-made cardboard trays and a ‘cabinet’ made of matchboxes, which only came to light recently during a clear out of boxes of what was thought to be junk.”
The piece was bought by the Numismatic Financial Corporation, a Florida-based coin seller.