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1806 Capped Head Right Half Eagle, MS64
Round Top 6, 7x6 Stars, BD-6

1806 $5 Round Top 6, 7x6 Stars MS64 NGC. Breen-6448, BD-6, R.2. The Capped Head Right design was retired midway through 1807, but a substantial mintage of 64,093 pieces was accomplished in 1806. Six different die varieties are known for the 1806 half eagle, five varieties with a pointed 6 in the date and the present BD-6, with a round top or knobbed 6. In Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, John Dannreuther estimates 35,000 to 50,000 examples of the BD-6 variety were produced, as it is the most available variety today. The surviving population is believed to total 600-900 examples in all grades.
Early gold collectors have prized the BD-6 since it was first recognized as a distinct variety in the 1860s. One of the key features of the BD-6 is the placement of the obverse stars in a 7x6 pattern around the bust (previously the stars were arranged 8x5). Catalogers began to notice the new pattern by the time of the Sixth Semi-Annual Sale (Woodward, 3/1865), where lot 2760 in the half eagle section reads, "1806 Six stars facing; fine and exceedingly rare." The lot sold to J.O. Emery for $8. Interestingly, when Woodward sold the Emery, Taylor & Loomis Collections (Woodward, 3/1880), the coin was not listed in the catalog. Emery must have disposed of part of his collection privately.
The present coin is well struck, with softly frosted mint luster. The attractive surfaces are a bright yellow-gold color. No mentionable handling marks are evident, suggestive of an even higher grade. The difficulty of improving on this specimen is evident when one considers that NGC and PCGS combined have certified only three coins in higher grades (10/09).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# BFXJ, PCGS# 8089)

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Auction Dates
December, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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