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Brilliant 1803 BD-5 Extra Star Eagle, MS61

1803 $10 Extra Star MS61 NGC. Breen-6845, Taraszka-30, BD-5, High R.4. BD Die State g/b. The "extra star" that defines this variety is actually a stray star in the cloud under F in OF. On the current offering--and many other known examples--this feature is weak, yet discernible. It is ironic that the peculiar feature which gives this variety its name can be missing or weak on survivors, regardless of condition. As such, the quickest and surest means of attribution is to examine the relationship of the leaf tip to the I in AMERICA: On BD-5 the tip points to the left serif of the I, whereas the leaf point is closer to the right serif of the same letter on all varieties except for BD-6, where the tip of the leaf is adjacent to the right serif of the R.
NGC documents only five 1803 Extra Star tens at the MS61 level with 20 coins grading finer (3/09); however, we must make note of three additional Large Reverse Star eagles in the Census Report; an MS61 and two MS62 pieces. This information is important in that the three additional examples may be BD-5 coins. Of the six known varieties for this issue, the first four die marriages use small stars on the reverse, while BD-5 and BD-6 have large stars. Since BD-6 is a very rare variety with fewer than 10 examples believed to be extant in all grades, it is possible that the population data for this variety could be higher by three coins. Nonetheless, BD-5 is anything but common in Mint State condition.
The eagle offered here is a pleasing survivor, displaying green-gold coloration and ample luster, especially in the protected areas. Adjustment marks--common to the series--are noted through the upper reverse, for the sake of full disclosure. And while the strike of the current coin is average for the issue, its overall eye appeal will ensure aggressive bidding activity. (NGC ID# 262A, PCGS# 88565)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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