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1803 Small Stars Eagle, BD-3, MS63
Late State with Clashed Dies

1803 $10 Small Stars Reverse MS63 NGC. Breen-6844, Taraszka-28, BD-3, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/d. Both dies show moderate clash marks. The reverse die appeared earlier on 1801 BD-2, the plentiful 1801 variety (Dannreuther incorrectly said BD-1).
A single obverse dated 1803 was used with six different reverse dies, including four Small Stars and two Large Stars dies. The BD-3 is far more plentiful than the other five, making it the ideal candidate for Guide Book collectors who seek two coins showing the different reverse star sizes, or for date collectors seeking a single 1803 eagle.
Die states of the 1803 obverse provide the necessary evidence to determine the emission sequence, or the order that the 1803 eagle varieties were minted. BD-1 and BD-2 are only known with a perfect obverse die, while BD-3 is known with a perfect obverse or a clashed obverse as here. BD-4 developed heavier clash marks and was then lapped, sometimes showing a crack through LIBERTY. The final two varieties, BD-5 and BD-6, also show the lapped obverse, eventually developing a die crack at star 5.
Although BD-3 is plentiful among 1803 eagles, it is scarce in the context of early eagle varieties. John Dannreuther estimates that 150 to 200 examples survive in all grades. Although no census of early gold varieties exist, the present specimen is likely among the best survivors. Rich olive tones reside on brilliant and frosty yellow luster. Only a few scattered marks are evident on each side, some in the fields and others hidden in the devices. Design weakness is evident on the lower drapery, opposite light reverse adjustment marks. Census: 17 in 63, 9 finer (11/11).
Seller is donating a portion of their proceeds, and Heritage is donating the same portion of the Buyer's Premium, from the sale of this lot to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. See page 3 for details.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 2629, PCGS# 8565)

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
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