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1795 $5 Small Eagle MS61 NGC. BD-8, High R.5....

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

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Auction Ended On: Aug 3, 2012
Item Activity: 10 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel
201 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103


1795 BD-8 Half Eagle, MS61
Both Dies Used in 1798
1795 $5 Small Eagle MS61 NGC. BD-8, High R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a, the only die state described for this scarce variety. There is no evidence of die cracks, clash marks, or lapping on either side. There are about 30 to 40 examples known of this extremely important variety. The obverse die was used later with two other Small Eagle reverse dies for BD-9 and 10, and a Heraldic Eagle reverse for 1795 BD-13. The reverse die was used for the extremely rare 1798 BD-1 Small Eagle piece. The 1795 BD-8, and all other 1795 Small Eagle pieces were struck in 1795 and 1796, while the 1795 Heraldic Eagle coins were almost certainly struck in 1797 or 1798.
Coinage dies in the 18th and early 19th centuries were used until they wore out, even if that meant using dies in more than one year. While there is no certainty, it is believed that 1795 BD-1 through BD-5 were struck in 1795, BD-6 was struck in 1795 and 1796, and BD-7 through 12 along with all 1796 half eagles were struck in the latter year.
In all grades, John Dannreuther estimates that 30 to 40 examples of this variety are known, and it ranks as the fifth rarest 1795 Small Eagle variety. Most survivors are in circulated grades, and this MS61 NGC specimen likely ranks high in the condition census.
Both sides are satiny with light yellow surfaces and rose peripheral highlights. Scattered marks are consistent with the grade, and the eye appeal is excellent. Central weakness is typical for these coins.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ND, PCGS# 8066)

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