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Description

1795 Small Eagle Five, MS63
The Third 1795 Die Pairing

1795 $5 Small Eagle MS63 NGC. CAC. BD-3, High R.3. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/a. The obverse has a delicate die crack from the border to star 12, showing its use after BD-2 and before BD-4. A type collection candidate, the BD-3 die pair is the most plentiful 1795 Small Eagle variety with an estimate of 175 to 225 survivors, according to John Dannreuther. The Smithsonian Institution has six 1795 Small Eagle half eagles, including five examples of this variety. The other Smithsonian coin is an example of BD-4, from the same obverse die.
The first half eagles were minted at Philadelphia at the end of July 1795, and they were the first official U.S. gold coins minted at the new facility. Robert Scot engraved a number of dies for the initial coinage, and today we know of 12 different die marriages dated 1795 alone. Die production included eight obverse dies dated 1795, one 1796/5 overdate obverse, and nine reverse dies.
Half eagle production totaled 8,707 pieces in 1795 and 6,196 coins in 1796, the total mintage of 14,903 coins including pieces of both dates from the 13 different varieties. There is no doubt that 1795 Small Eagle fives were coined at least into 1796, and some have suggested that additional pieces were minted in 1797 and 1798. However, we believe that, based on die state evidence, the 1795 half eagles were only coined into 1796 and probably no further.
The NGC Star designation combined with the green CAC sticker of the Certified Acceptance Corporation points to the exceptional quality of this specimen. This impressive Select Mint State specimen offers rich yellow color with frosty devices and reflective, nearly prooflike fields. A few trivial marks, including short horizontal adjustment marks in Liberty's hair, prevent an even higher grade. Those horizontal marks provide immediate identification of this specimen in past offerings. Census: 9 in 63, this single MS63 , and only 6 pieces finer (6/12).
Ex: Stack's (10/2008), lot 1271; Stack's (3/2009), lot 5850; Jim O'Neal Gold Type Collection (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 4838.(Registry values: P5) (NGC ID# 25ND, PCGS# 8066)

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Auction Dates
August, 2012
2nd-5th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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