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1795 $5 Small Eagle AU55 NGC. Breen-6412, BD-3, High R.3. ...

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

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Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


1795 BD-3 Half Eagle, AU55
Small Eagle Reverse
1795 $5 Small Eagle AU55 NGC. Breen-6412, BD-3, High R.3. Bass-Dannreuther Obverse State b/Reverse State b. The date is widely spaced and star 11 joins the Y of LIBERTY. On the reverse the tiny wreath bears four berries--two on each side--and a leaf extends to the lower foot of the I in UNITED.
There are 15 varieties of 1795 half eagle known, including 12 Small Eagle pairings and three Large Eagles. Among the Small Eagle reverses, the BD-3 at High R.3 (175-225 known, according to Bass-Dannreuther) is the only die pairing that can be considered generally available for a price. All of the other 1795 Small Eagle and Large Eagle variants range from R.5 all the way up to unique or High R.8, in the case of the 1795 Large Eagle, BD-13.
Most of the 1795 Small Eagle die pairings are in the R.5 to High R.5 range. The 1795 Small Eagles were the first gold coins struck by the U.S. Mint, in its third year of operation (gold eagles followed later in the year). As such, they are coins of immense importance to type enthusiasts, early gold specialists, and variety collectors. The very fact that the other 11 1795 Small Eagle die marriages are so much rarer places an increased burden on the BD-3; when high-grade examples do appear in the marketplace, they are eagerly bid up to high levels by members of the aforementioned factions.
This piece has antique-gold coloration with a halo of lilac and hazel around the devices on both sides, an unusual but appealing palette. There are few mentionable signs of contact, and no adjustment marks appear on either side. Tiny die cracks diagnose the die state, on the obverse from star 12 to the rim and on the reverse from the rim to the E in UNITED. This Choice AU coin should form an important addition to any collection.
From The Harvey Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ND, PCGS# 8066)

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