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1796/5 Five Dollar, BD-1, AU58
Scarce Second Year of Issue

1796/5 $5 Small Eagle AU58 PCGS. Breen-6418, BD-1, High R.4. It is interesting that the overdated die used to strike the 1796/5 half eagles was not used first in 1795. There are 12 varieties known for the 1795 Small Eagle five, struck from eight obverse dies and nine reverse dies. Apparently the Mint was expecting huge demand for the half eagles, the first gold coins produced by the United States, and so at least nine obverse dies and nine reverse dies were prepared. (One of the 1795 reverse dies was reused to strike the 1796/5 half eagle.)
Although there are 12 varieties for the 1795, there is just one variety of 1796 half eagle believed to exist. The official mintages for the 1795 and 1796 were 8,707 and 6,196 pieces respectively. However, the use of 12 different die combinations for the 1795 would suggest that the mintage is actually higher than the 8,707 coins reported. In all likelihood a significant number of 1795-dated half eagles were included in the mintage figure for the 1796.
John Dannreuther (2006) suggests that the mintage of the 1795 half eagle may be as high as 12,106 coins and the mintage of the 1796/5 between 1,057 and 2,000 coins. This makes sense considering that Dannreuther believes that only 80 to 100 examples of the 1796/5 still exist. PCGS and NGC have graded 64 specimens in total.
The present coin is one of just 12 AU58 pieces, including one 58+ graded by NGC and PCGS. Mint State examples are very rare with just 20 examples reported by the two major grading services. This impressive high-grade representative of this challenging second-year issue displays yellow-gold color with a reddish overlay. The centers are weakly defined, and the fields are lightly marked and bright.
From The Oliver Collection.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 7KNJ, PCGS# 8067)

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Auction Dates
August, 2011
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