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1808 BD-3 Half Eagle, MS63
Late Die State

1808 $5 MS63 NGC. Close 5D, Breen-6456, BD-3, R.4. Die states of BD-3 are problematic, with the earliest die state in the Bass-Dannreuther reference showing reverse clash marks that occurred during the earlier use of that die for the 1807 BD-8 die marriage (State a/c). The intermediate die state has a perfect obverse die with a lapped reverse die having all prior clash marks removed (State a/d). The terminal die state requires obverse clash marks in combination with clash marks and a "crack from last A in AMERICA through denomination" (State b/e).
This piece clearly shows clash marks on the obverse, as well as clash marks from the 1808 obverse visible on the reverse, including all four digits of the date that are visible in clash mark form. However, there is no evidence of a die crack as John Dannreuther describes. The reverse of this piece does show an obvious and clearly visible clash mark at the location of the crack described above. Dannreuther notes that only one example of the late die state was observed, that piece being offered in a May 2000 R.M. Smythe catalog. The possibility is that the clash mark on the present piece is the same feature that was described as a crack.
This Choice Mint State piece is a splendid and sharply detailed example of the die marriage frosty light yellow luster and slightly deeper lemon-yellow tones. Both sides have a few scattered marks and trivial hairlines that are frequently seen on these early gold coins. This is an excellent study piece for the advanced early gold collector. Census: 27 in 63, 18 finer (2/11).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 4U57, PCGS# 8102)

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Auction Dates
March, 2011
17th-20th Thursday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 7
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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