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1811 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle, MS64
Small 5 Variety, BD-2
Bass-Dannreuther State d/a

1811 $5 Small 5 MS64 NGC. Breen-6464, BD-2, R.3. A large mintage of 99,581 half eagles was accomplished in 1811, with two major die varieties known for the date. The present coin is an example of the slightly more available BD-2 variety, distinguished by the smaller numeral 5 in the denomination. Perhaps 225-300 examples are known today in all grades. At the near-Gem level the issue is quite rare, as NGC has certified only 13 coins in MS64, with six finer; while PCGS has graded 13 specimens in near-Gem condition, with none finer (11/09).
The same obverse die was used on both varieties of the date, making it one of the hardiest dies of the early gold series. The reverse die employed the same Small 5 punch in the denomination used on two varieties of 1810 half eagles, but this reverse is different in other respects. The emission sequence is difficult to determine, as evidence of clashing occurs on both varieties, with the dies being lapped to remove evidence of the clashing between the different pairings. The most likely sequence seems to be BD-1, BD-2, BD-1 again, BD-2 second use. Clashing is not evident on the present coin, Bass-Dannreuther state d/a, the dies having been lapped to remove the clash marks.
The present coin is a pleasing near-Gem example, with deep reddish-tinted surfaces and frosty devices. The striking details are sharp in general, but some softness on the hair and stars is inevitable, because of the lapping of the dies. A scattering of insignificant handling marks is consistent with the grade. Overall visual appeal is excellent.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# BFXS, PCGS# 8109)

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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