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Choice AU 1818 Half Eagle
Scarce Perfect Dies, BD-1 Variety
Ex: Harry Bass

1818 $5 AU55 PCGS. CAC. Breen-6471, BD-1, R.5. Coinage of ten dollar gold pieces was suspended after 1804, and no quarter eagles were produced from 1808-1821, leaving the Capped Bust Left half eagle as the only U.S. federal gold coin in production for more than a decade. There were significant gaps in the coinage of that denomination, as well. The War of 1812 played havoc with the national economy, and by the time that conflict ended in 1815, the mintage of half eagles was down to the meager total of 635 pieces. The years 1816 and 1817 saw no mintage of gold coins accomplished at all, but there was a substantial recovery in 1818, when a large production of 48,588 half eagles was achieved.
The 1818 half eagle is known in three different die varieties, with this coin representing the very scarce BD-1 variety, with perfect dies. The other two die marriages exhibit significant errors, with the letters in STATESOF run together on the BD-2 variety, and the D in the denomination punched over a 0 in the BD-3. The BD-1 was a significant portion of the reported mintage, probably 10,000-15,000 pieces, and John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population at 50-65 specimens in all grades. This coin is from an intermediate die state, with the obverse perfect and the reverse showing the crack from D through the base of AMERICA, but not the other cracks that indicate reverse Die State b.
The present coin is a lightly circulated Choice AU example, with much of the original mint luster intact and only a trace of wear on the devices. The surfaces are a pleasing yellow-gold color, with strong highlights of orange. Population: 4 in 55, 30 finer (11/11).
Ex: Shapero Collection (Stack's, 10/1971), lot 973; Harry Bass; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 808.
From The Harvey B. Jacobson, Jr. Collection.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# BFXV, PCGS# 8119)

View all of [The Harvey B. Jacobson, Jr. Collection ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2012
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