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1795 $5 Small Eagle MS61 PCGS. BD-4, R.5....

2013 January 9-14 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando #1181

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Auction Ended On: Jan 10, 2013
Item Activity: 8 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Orange County Convention Center
North/South Building
9400 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819


1795 Capped Bust Right Five, MS61
Small Eagle Reverse, Rare BD-4 Variety
1795 $5 Small Eagle MS61 PCGS. BD-4, R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/a. Under the provisions of the Mint Act of 1792, the assayer and the chief coiner were required to post bonds of $10,000 dollars before they could begin working with precious metals. This was an enormous sum in the 18th century, and neither Assayer Albion Cox nor Chief Coiner Henry Voigt could afford to post such an amount when the Mint opened in 1792. This caused a delay in the coinage of business-strike gold and silver coins, until the amount of the bonds was reduced by Congress in 1794. Accordingly, silver coinage began in earnest in 1794, and gold coinage commenced in 1795.
A small mintage of 8,707 half eagles was accomplished in 1795 using the Small Eagle reverse design. There are 12 different Small Eagle die varieties known for the date. A few years later, probably in 1798, some 1795-dated obverse dies were matched with Heraldic Eagle reverses to create three die varieties of that design. The present coin is a representative of the rare BD-4 variety, identified by the position of star 11 joining Y in LIBERTY, and the three berries in the wreath on the reverse. The BD-4 variety probably accounted for 1,000-1,500 pieces of the reported mintage, with a surviving population of 60-75 examples in all grades.
This delightful Mint State specimen displays pleasing yellow-gold surfaces that show only minor signs of contact. The design elements are well-detailed, with just a touch of softness on the centers. Vibrant mint luster adds to the excellent visual appeal. This coin will be a welcome addition to a fine collection of early gold. Population: 19 in 61, 35 finer (11/12).
From The Dr. James Olsen Collection.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ND, PCGS# 8066)

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