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Description

1803 Ten Dollar, Extra Star, BD-5, MS64
Condition Rarity, Intriguing Variety

1803 $10 Extra Star MS64 NGC. BD-5, High R.4. The singular reverse has an extra 14th star, small-sized in contrast with the Large Stars in the glory surrounding the eagle, superimposed on the rightmost cloud between the wings. Bass-Dannreuther Die State is midway between g/a and g/b, with the die line or crack appearing across the right (facing) wingtip but neither the clash marks nor the tail-and-shield crack showing.

The BD-5 variety, more scarce than rare, nonetheless is among the most intriguing early gold die pairs thanks to its eccentric reverse. The Bass-Dannreuther reference notes: "The punch that made the extra star is smaller than any used on eagles, so it may have been an intentional addition to this reverse die by a Mint employee. It is hard to imagine an accident causing this feature... This is another early gold mystery that defies explanation."

Of course, a healthy dose of mystery has done wonders for this die pair's reputation. Demand is perennially healthy, even though the variety is not rare in the strictest sense, and while Dannreuther claims "one can find a nice representative with relative ease," in MS64 condition the combined certified population tells a far different story. This near-Gem has bright luster, yellow-gold with occasional variations toward green-gold. Striking weakness is minor and localized, mostly in the reverse stars and on the talon clutching the arrows. While a long shallow scrape hidden within the reverse shield precludes a finer designation, the obverse is attractive for the grade and the coin displays beautifully as a whole. For the Extra Star variety, Census: 1 in 64, 1 finer (11/13).
From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation. (NGC ID# 262A, PCGS# 88565)

View all of [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2014
8th-12th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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