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Description

Bright 1795 Small Eagle Five Dollar, BD-4
First U.S. Gold Coin Type

1795 $5 Small Eagle Genuine PCGS. Breen-6412, BD-4, R.5. The PCGS number ending in .94 suggests Altered Surfaces as the reason, or perhaps one of the reasons, that PCGS deemed this coin not gradable. Our in-house graders have determined the coin has Uncirculated Details. The Altered Surfaces designation refers to the coin overall, rather than being localized to a particular area that was worked. This piece was probably lightly rubbed or chamoised, and as a result the luster is thin in the fields. The bright surfaces show a bit of pale reddish patina. The strike is soft in the centers. Light die adjustment marks on the reverse appear in the center and the upper left rim. Abrasions are minor, although a cluster of small marks appears in the field below TAT.
In its earliest years the Philadelphia Mint paid little heed to the dates on coins (or even the types, apparently), using and reusing dies as they were needed and available. Thus it is that both the 1795 Large Eagle variety is known--a coin likely struck in 1798--and the 1798 Small Eagle, an extremely rare die pairing with only seven examples known.
For the 1795 Small Eagle, the first U.S. gold coin type struck, a large number of dies are known for both obverse and reverse--eight and 11, respectively, which were paired in 15 combinations known today. Of those die pairings, the BD-3 is rated High R.3 by Bass-Dannreuther. The BD-4 is ranked R.5, along with several others, meaning that Bass-Dannreuther estimate that 60 to 75 specimens survive today.
(Registry values: P5, N5)

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Auction Dates
Apr-May, 2010
28th-2nd
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 16
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