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1796/5 BD-1 Small Eagle Five, MS62
The Eliasberg Specimen

1796/5 $5 Small Eagle MS62 NGC. CAC. Breen-6418, BD-1, High R.4. Ex: Eliasberg. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/b. This early die state specimen has a perfect obverse die with slight evidence of die lapping on the reverse. A later die state is described with a die crack from the edge below the 9 to the bottom of the 6. Dannreuther writes: "The crack noted above is seldom seen and Harry Bass does not seem to have acquired an example with this feature."
This piece from the Eliasberg Collection has two small depressions, similar to lint marks, in the exact location of the die crack that Dannreuther describes. As we have never seen an example with that die crack, perhaps these depressions were mistaken for die cracks.
While half eagles dated 1795, 1797, and 1798 exist in two types, Small Eagle and Heraldic Eagle, the 1796 half eagles are only known with a Small Eagle reverse, and only one die pair is known. The obverse is a clear and obvious 1796 over 5 overdate, and represents the second obverse variation from the previous year. The earliest 1795 half eagles had the lower left star beneath the hair curl, while the later 1795 obverse dies have the lower left star to the left of the hair curl.
While a few finer examples appear in the certification charts, this example is the finest we have ever offered. An MS61 NGC example appeared in our June 2001 Internet sale, but failed to find a buyer. Behind that are a small number of AU pieces that we have sold over the past two decades. This lovely specimen has brilliant green-gold surfaces with satin luster and mostly sharp design features, although the centers are a trifle weak, the result of minor reverse adjustment marks. Splashes of delicate peripheral rose toning enhance its eye appeal. Here is a wonderful opportunity for the advanced early gold specialist to acquire a rarity in impressive condition.
Ex: Elmer S. Sears (1909); John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate (1942); Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.; Eliasberg Estate (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 327.(Registry values: P7) (NGC ID# 7KNJ, PCGS# 8067)

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Auction Dates
October, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 12
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