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1795 Large Eagle Five Dollar, MS62
Rare BD-14 Variety, Only 14-18 Pieces Believed Known

1795 $5 Large Eagle MS62 PCGS. Breen-6422, BD-14, High R.6. The obverse die has a narrow date with 179 closer than 95, and with star 1 joined to the left side of the low curl. The obverse die appeared earlier on the BD-7 die marriage with a Small Eagle reverse. The reverse has stars 3 and 4 widely spaced, with star 3 below the second T and star 4 below the final S in STATES. The reverse die was used for the unique 1795 BD-13 variety and this BD-14 variety. Both dies are lapped, and the reverse is cracked through ERICA.
The famous and rare 1795 Heraldic Eagle five dollar gold pieces were actually struck in 1797 or 1798, when the new reverse design was first introduced to the half eagle series. Three die varieties are known for the 1795 Heraldic Eagle pieces, utilizing three obverse dies and two reverse dies. The three obverse dies were used earlier in 1795 to produce Small Eagle coins. One of the reverse dies was also used for a 1797-dated Heraldic Eagle five with only one known example permanently in the Smithsonian Institution. Die state evidence proves that the 1795 half eagle was minted after the 1797 piece was struck.
For some unknown reason, most survivors are in high grade. The present example is tied for third finest of the variety and fifth finest of the date, based on our survey of all three varieties.
We have records of 14 different examples of BD-14, along with a single representative of BD-13, and 23 examples of BD-15. Probably a few additional examples of BD-14 and BD-15 are known, bringing the estimated population of those two varieties up to 20 and 30 pieces, respectively.
This Mint State piece has reflective fields with greenish-gold surfaces that show traces of light orange toning in the fields and pale blue patina on the devices. Both sides have minor marks that are consistent with the grade. Most noticeable are tiny dents near the first S in STATES that will provide a positive pedigree match. Well-blended scratches are faintly visible at the center of the reverse. The reflective fields suggest that this example was struck soon after the dies were lapped.
Ex: Heritage (3/2002), lot 17517.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 25NK, PCGS# 8075)

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Auction Dates
January, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 5
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