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Description

1811 Half Eagle, MS65
BD-1, Tall 5

1811 $5 Tall 5 MS65 NGC. BD-1, R.3. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/e, with heavy clash marks and delicate die cracks on each side. The Tall 5 die marriage is scarce, and slightly rarer than the Small 5 variety, the only other known die variety of the year. These varieties are easily distinguished by the size of the digit 5 in the denomination. The half eagle coinage of 1811 consisted of 99,851 coins, according to Mint records, although the real total may have been a much smaller number. The two varieties are similar in rarity, and many of the first or Tall 5 variety were coined before other half eagles dated 1810, thus the confusion surrounding the mintage. Walter Breen suggested that over half of the mintage, or more than 50,000 coins, were actually dated 1810. Of course, there may also have been a quantity of 1811 half eagles produced in 1812 and recorded in the mintage for that year. This discussion illustrates just one of the problems facing researchers who are examining early Mint history.

A number of prominent clash marks are evident, especially on the obverse. The scroll and its lettering are visible beneath the bust, continuing into the left obverse field. The eagle's feather details can be seen in the left and right obverse field, the denomination is visible above Liberty's cap, the leaves at the front of the cap, and the arrows behind the cap. Clash marks are also visible on the reverse, but they are not nearly as prominent. The orientation of these clash marks provides a fascinating study. When this example was coined, the reverse die was rotated about 45 degrees counterclockwise. The clashing accident also occurred with the reverse die similarly rotated. A numismatic challenge would be the discovery of other examples, with the dies returned to normal alignment, yet with the clash marks from this rotation.

This is a frosty and highly lustrous example with brilliant light yellow-gold surfaces. Both sides have a few scattered abrasions that are consistent with the grade. Both sides are also sharply struck, although not fully defined. Census: 5 in 65, 1 finer (7/13) for all 1811 half eagles.
From our Denver Signature Sale (8/2006), lot 5489.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# BFXS, PCGS# 8110)

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Auction Dates
August, 2013
8th-10th
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