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Top-Notch 1813 Half Eagle, BD-2, MS64
Scarcer of Two Varieties for the Year

1813 $5 MS64 PCGS. Breen-6467, BD-2, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Die State Obverse d / Reverse b. A small die crack connects the tip of the bust of Liberty with the rim on the obverse, and the reverse shows a light crack connecting CA with the 5 and D in the denomination. Other fine cracks connect ATES with OF and the wing tip, and ST with each other.
The attribution is easily made, as the two die pairings for the year 1813 share a common obverse, with the reverses distinguished by the position of STATES in relation to the motto below. On the BD-1 the first S in STATES begins slightly to the right of the E that starts the motto, while the very scarce BD-2, as here, shows the S immediately above the E. Clash marks appear within the shield on this reverse die, which was also reemployed for the single-variety 1814 and 1815 half eagles.
Bass-Dannreuther estimate that perhaps 15% to 25% of the total reported mintage of 95,428 half eagles for the year consists of the BD-2 variety, or about 15,000 to 25,000 pieces. Of those, they posit that from 150 to 200 are known today in all grades.
The present BD-2 example is certified at the near-Gem level at PCGS, making it one of 48 submissions for the 1813 half eagle at that service, which has only seen three finer, two in MS65 and one in MS66 (9/11). Bounteous luster appears over yellow-gold, relatively unmarked surfaces that show a bold strike throughout the obverse and around the reverse periphery. Some of the vertical shield stripes and the eagle's left (facing) leg and wing show softness, although we wonder if that is die filling instead; it also appears on the Bass-Dannreuther plate example. Minor planchet adjustment marks are confined to the obverse rim from 1 to 2:30, and intermingled with some light scrapes on the cheek that account for the grade. The eye appeal is top-notch on this coin, a super acquisition to represent the type or the date.(Registry values: P2) (NGC ID# 25PM, PCGS# 8116)

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Auction Dates
October, 2011
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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