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Lot
3546

1803 $10 Small Stars Reverse MS63 NGC. Breen-6844, BD-1, High R.5....

2010 August Boston, MA Signature & Platinum Night ANA Coin Auction #1143

 
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Auction Ended On: Aug 11, 2010
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location:

Hynes Convention Center
900 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Description:

Select 1803 Capped Bust Right Eagle
Small Stars Reverse
Very Scarce BD-1 Variety
1803 $10 Small Stars Reverse MS63 NGC. Breen-6844, BD-1, High R.5. A fairly generous mintage of 15,017 Capped Bust Right eagles was achieved in 1803, with six different die varieties for the date. The present coin is an example of the very scarce BD-1 variety, characterized by the small reverse stars, with one star near the eagle's beak (but not touching), and the arrow points extending to the base of the I in UNITED. In Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, John Dannreuther estimates the original mintage of the BD-1 variety at 1,500-2,500 pieces. Probably no more than 30-40 specimens survive today in all grades. Coins in Select Mint State are quite rare. Current population data reveals NGC has graded 17 coins in MS63, with nine finer; PCGS has certified nine examples at the Select level, with 10 finer (7/10).
The 1803 eagle was studied by numismatic scholar John Colvin Randall, who noticed the different-size reverse star varieties at an early date. He passed his findings on to Woodward, who cataloged his gold collection in two sales in 1885. In lot 860 of the Randall Collection we find, "1803 No. 2; reverse has smaller stars; fine, uncirculated, reverse proof." Many examples have prooflike reverse surfaces because so few coins were struck with the dies. The effect is not seen as often on the obverse, because the obverse die was used on all six varieties of the date.
The present coin is a delightful Select specimen, with pleasing prooflike fields on both sides. The strike is sharp throughout, with fine detail on Liberty's hair and the eagle's breast. The surfaces are bright greenish-gold and show a minimum number of handling marks for the grade. A high-end specimen to delight the advanced variety collector.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2628, PCGS# 8565)

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