1820 $5 Square Base 2 MS63 PCGS. Large Letters. Breen-6476, BD-3, R.5. The Capped Head design half eagle was coined from 18...
Prooflike Mint State 1820 BD-3 Half Eagle1820 $5 Square Base 2 MS63 PCGS. Large Letters. Breen-6476, BD-3, R.5. The Capped Head design half eagle was coined from 1813 to 1834, and the highest annual mintage occurred in 1820 with a total production of 263,806 coins. Not surprisingly, the largest number of individual die varieties have been identified from this year. In his new reference on the varieties of early gold coinage, John Dannreuther recorded nine different varieties representing three major types. All Square Base 2 coins have Large Letters on the reverse, while Curved Base 2 pieces have either Large Letters or Small Letters on the reverse.
The reverse die of this example was not used with any other varieties, thus the tiny rust lumps left of the digit 5 are a diagnostic identifier. The BD-3 variety is the most readily available of the year, as pointed out by Dannreuther: "This is the only scarce variety of 1820 half eagle with a few more than 50 examples as the surviving population. The other eight varieties existing for this year are either rare, very rare, or exceedingly rare."
This lovely Mint State piece has brilliant greenish-gold color with prooflike fields and a hint of cameo contrast. The surfaces have the usual light abrasions and tiny hairlines that are expected at the grade level. This piece is similar quality to the Bass-ANA example, and is one of the finest known of this die marriage.(Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 25PT, PCGS# 8125)
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