There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.

1797 $5 Small Eagle, 16 Stars MS60 NGC. Breen-6420, B. 12-...

2004 June Long Beach Signature Sale #349

Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Jun 3, 2004
Item Activity: 6 Internet/mail/phone bidders
795 page views
Location: Long Beach, CA
Very Rare 1797 16 Stars Half Eagle, Possibly The Finest Known In Private Hands
1797 $5 Small Eagle, 16 Stars MS60 NGC. Breen-6420, B. 12-K, Miller-19, R.6. The 16 Stars 1797 Small Eagle five is one of the major rarities in the half eagle series. The obverse die has 11 stars on the left and five on the right. This is not an altered 15-Star die, but it is distinctive with differently placed devices. It is believed that both varieties were made in late 1795 or early 1796 with the final digit in the date omitted--a common practice in the early Mint when it was uncertain in which year a die would actually be used. Breen stated that the 16-Star coins constituted the delivery of 1,390 half eagles struck sometime after Tennessee was admitted to the Union (as the 16th state) on June 1. Probably no more than 35 examples survive today of all four Small Eagle varieties dated 1797, which include two varieties of 15-Star coins and two 16-Star half eagle varieties.
While several Mint State pieces are believed known of the 16-Stars, it is actually a much rarer coin than it appears as several of the higher graded pieces are impounded in museums. In fact, this is the only Uncirculated coin certified by either of the major services to date (3/04). The surfaces show the usual green-gold coloration one expects from early gold with almost none of the reddish patina often seen. Close examination shows considerable prooflikeness around the stars and legends, this reflective quality only being interrupted by numerous small abrasions that are peppered over each side, none of which are large enough to merit individual mention. A heavy pie-shaped pair of die cracks are seen on the lower reverse, as seen on later die states. Well struck around the margins, there is slight softness noted in the centers over Liberty's hair and the eagle's breast. A very rare opportunity to acquire one of the key issues in the half eagle series.
Ex: Stanley Kesselman (7/16/73); Harry Bass II (Bowers and Merena, 10/99), lot 721. (#8068) (NGC ID# 25NF, PCGS# 8068)

View large image(s) of this item

Service and Handling Description: Coin/Currency (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  | NGC Coin Grading Guarantee  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Guides and Pricing Information:

Previous Prices from Heritage Auctions
or Join (free & quick)
Price Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Population Guide
or Join (free & quick)
Find Auction Prices for Comparable Items:

Sign-in or Join (free & quick) to see the full image

Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
sold in the last year
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
Only 21 days left to consign to the 2015 April 8 - 14 CICF World Coins & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago!
Learn About Consigning With Us
Your entire organization deserves to be complimented on how professional and cooperative they were.
San Jose, CA receives more traffic than any other auction house website. To compare for yourself, visit:
Take our 2014 Coin
and Currency Survey
Grand prize:
A Certified Uncirculated
1907 High Relief $20!*
Take the Survey
2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando
REALIZED $70,232,913
2015 January 13 - 14 World Coins & Ancient Coins - Dallas
2015 January 13 - 14 World Coins & Ancient Coins - Dallas
REALIZED $3,056,109
2015 January 7 - 12 FUN Currency Signature Auction - Orlando
2015 January 7 - 12 FUN Currency Signature Auction - Orlando
REALIZED $9,797,838