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Attractive, Lustrous 1812 Half Eagle
Narrow 5D, BD-2, MS64

1812 $5 MS64 NGC. Narrow 5D, Breen-6465, BD-2, High R.4. The two varieties of the 1812 half eagle both have the same obverse. The BD-1 has the reverse feather tip positioned over the right edge of the flag of the 5, and a widely spaced 5D, with the D wholly under the branch. BD-2, the Narrow 5D, has the D mostly under the feather. Perhaps an easier way to identify the two reverses is to inspect the I of PLURIBUS relative to STATES. BD-1 shows the I beneath the left serif of E, while the I is below the right serif of the second T on the BD-2 variety.
John Dannreuther and Harry Bass Jr., in their Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties reference, estimate that 80 to 100 specimens of the scarcer BD-2 variety are known. The authors write that 300 to 450 of BD-1 are believed to exist. The 2009 Guide Book reports a mintage of 58,087 for the date.
MS64 is the highest grade that most collectors can expect to acquire of this date. NGC and PCGS have certified 14 Gems, a number of which are likely resubmissions. The finest graded 1812 half eagle is a PCGS MS66.
The lustrous brassy-gold surfaces of this near-Gem offering display hints of light tan, and give off a slight greenish cast. A well executed strike imparts strong definition to the design elements; the sole exception is minor softness on the upper right corner of the shield. While a few minor handling marks preclude Gem classification, they do not detract from the coin's overall appeal. Faint adjustment marks are visible at the obverse margins. Census: 36 in 64, 9 finer (2/09).(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 42AM, PCGS# 8112)

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