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1827 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle, MS64
Classic Old-Tenor Gold Rarity, BD-1
Only One Finer Coin at PCGS

1827 $5 MS64 PCGS. BD-1, R.6. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/b. The 1827 Capped Bust Left half eagle claims a mintage of 24,913 pieces, with just a single variety known for the date. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse was used to strike the extremely rare BD-2 variety of 1826 and the very rare BD-1 1828/7 variety as well.

The surviving population of this issue is a matter of some dispute. Earlier catalogers, like Henry Chapman and B. Max Mehl, believed only 8-10 specimens were extant. Walter Breen expanded this estimate to 12-15 pieces in all grades in 1987. David Akers guessed there were "at most 20" examples surviving. Recently, PCGS Coinfacts estimated "about 30" and the Bass-Dannreuther reference postulates 35-45 specimens are known. PCGS and NGC have combined to certify 29 different coins, including an unknown number of crossovers and resubmissions.

To help clear up the confusion, we have compiled the following roster, expanded from notes by Saul Teichman and our own Auction Archives. It is possible that some duplication has occurred and it may be that a few specimens are currently held in long term collections and may not be represented in our survey. Still, our research has been quite extensive, and we doubt that more than a few pieces have escaped our notice. We have isolated 17 different coins, three of them impounded in institutional collections, and a number of earlier citations that may or may not be duplicate appearances of the coins in the roster. From this, it seems that the 1827 is much rarer than most present-day researchers believe, and the surviving population is actually more in line with Akers estimate of 25 years ago.

The present coin is a delightful Choice Mint State example with sharply detailed design elements in most areas and just a touch of softness on Liberty's highest curls and the eagle's claws. The well-preserved orange and olive-gold surfaces show only minor signs of contact. A tiny color spot at star 10 can serve as a pedigree marker. The opportunity to acquire such an attractive example of this celebrated rarity may not recur for years. Population: 2 in 64, 1 finer (11/13).

Roster of 1827 Capped Bust Left Half Eagles
1. MS66 NGC. Central States Signature (Heritage, 5/2007), lot 2292; Franklinton Collection, Part II (Stack's, 1/2008), lot 921.
2. MS65 PCGS. F.C.C. Boyd; World's Greatest Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 1/1946), lot 375; Memorable Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 3/1948), lot 325; Adolphe Menjou Collection (Numismatic Gallery, 6/1950), lot 1471; Thomas Melish Collection (Abe Kosoff, 4/1956), lot 1952; U.S. Coin and Currency Auction (Superior, 9/1997), lot 2930.
3. MS65 Uncertified. William Hesslein; purchased by John Work Garrett on November 25, 1919; Johns Hopkins University; Garrett Collection, Part I (Bowers and Ruddy, 11/1979), lot 469, R.E. Naftzger; Paramount FPL 1981; Auction '81 (RARCOA, 7/1981), lot 441; David Akers in 1999.
4. Choice Brilliant Uncirculated. Walter P. Innes, Jr. Collection (J.C. Morgenthau, 7/1937), lot 31; Floyd T. Starr; Starr Collection (Stack's, 10/1992), lot 1200.
5. MS64 PCGS. Farish Baldenhofer Collection (Stack's, 11/1955), lot 1244; Metropolitan New York Sale (Stack's, 5/1958), lot 1234; Four Landmark Collections (Bowers and Merena, 3/1989), lot 618; Thomas Chalkley Collection (Superior, 1/1990), lot 4605; Michael Keston Collection (Superior, 1/1996), lot 117; ANA Convention Auction (Heritage, 8/1996), lot 5763; Wes Rasmussen Collection (Superior, 2/1998), lot 3400; James Swan U.S. Type Collection; Oliver Jung Collection (American Numismatic Rarities, 7/2004), lot 93; Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 7/2006), lot 1593; the present coin.
6. MS64 NGC. Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2008), lot 2436.
7. MS62 NGC. George Seavey by 1869; Seavey Descriptive Catalog (William Strobridge, 6/1873), lot 474; Lorin G. Parmelee Collection (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 972; George Earle Collection (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2396; William Woodin, exhibited at the 1914 ANS exhibition; Waldo Newcomer; Colonel E.H.R. Green; King Farouk; Palace Collections of Egypt (Sotheby's, 2/1954), lot 242; Dr. Clifford E. Smith Collection (Stack's, 5/1955), lot 1689; ANA Convention Sale (Stack's, 8/1976), lot 2943; Auction '87 (Paramount, 7/1987), lot 421; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 10/1988), lot 81; Dr. Nelson Page Aspen Collection (Bowers and Merena, 8/1989), lot 547; January-February Auction (Superior, 1/1993), lot 1356; Husky Collection (Stack's, 6/2008), lot 2088; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 4871.
8. MS62 NGC. Dennis Mendelson Collection (Superior, 2/1991), lot 2783.
9. MS61 PCGS. Byron Reed; Omaha City Library; Byron Reed Collection (Spink America-Christie's, 10/1996), lot 116; Margene Heathgate Collection (Superior, 6/1997), lot 1491.
10. MS61 NGC. (Henry Chapman, 6/1907), lot 669; Virgil Brand; Sale 311 (Morgenthau, 10/1933), lot 221; Samuel Wolfson Collection, Part I (Stack's, 10/1962), lot 370; R.E. Naftzger duplicate; Paramount FPL 1981; Auction '82 (Paramount, 8/1982), lot 1931; Mid-American Rare Coins in 1985; January-February Auction (Superior, 1/1993), lot 1357.
11. MS61 PCGS. Mid-Winter ANA Signature (Heritage, 3/1998), lot 6419; Classics sale (American Numismatic Rarities, 12/2003), lot 941.
12. MS60 Uncertified. William Cutler Atwater Collection (Mehl, 6/1946), lot 1644; Amon G. Carter Collection (Stack's, 1/1984), lot 662; RARCOA in September 1984; Von Stetten-Buchenbach-Smith Collections (Bowers and Merena, 11/1986), lot 2215; Buddy Ebsen Collection (Superior, 5/1987), lot 2474; Charles Kramer Collection (Stack's-Superior, 11/1988), lot 328.
13. AU58+ PCGS. Pre-Long Beach Sale (Superior, 10/2000), lot 4595; FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2012), lot 4678.
14. AU58 PCGS. Davies-Niewoehner Collection (Paramount, 2/1975), lot 560; Public Auction Sale (Stack's, 2/1977), lot 815; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II (Bowers and Merena, 10/1999), lot 818; Benson Collection, Part II (Ira and Larry Goldberg, 2/2002), lot 1999; Medio-Gomez Collection, Part II (Stack's-ANR, 4/2006), lot 3216.
15. AU55 Uncertified. Harlan Page Smith Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 5/1906), lot 215; John H. Clapp; Clapp Estate; Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. in 1942; United States Gold Coin Collection (Bowers and Ruddy, 10/1982), lot 384; Harry Bass; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation.
16. MS64 Prooflike. Mint Cabinet, Smithsonian Institution, grade per Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth, has been called a proof.
17. MS62. Davis-Graves Collection (Stack's, 4/1954), lot 1451; Clifford T. Weihman, Josiah K. Lilly; Smithsonian Institution, grade by Garrett and Guth.

Other Appearances
A. Nearly Proof. Fifth Semi-Annual Sale (W. Elliot Woodward, 10/1864), lot 1651; J.O. Emery; Emery, Taylor & Loomis Collections (Woodward, 3/1880), lot 1011.
B. Proof. Sixth Semi-Annual Sale (Woodward, 3/1865), lot 2778; Heman Ely; Ely Collection (Woodward, 1/1884), lot 839.
C. Extremely Fine. Either a Seavey or Parmelee duplicate; Parmelee Collection (Strobridge, 6/1873), lot 787.
D. Uncirculated. Mendes I. Cohen Collection ( Edward Cogan, 10/1875), lot 147; Thomas Cleneay; Cleneay Collection (S.H. & H. Chapman, 12/1890), lot 573.
E. Extremely Fine. Phineas Adams; William Jenks; Sixty-Ninth Sale (Haseltine, 6/1883), lot 361.
F. Proof. Sale 69 (Woodward, 10/1884), lot 1155.
G. Very Fine. John Colvin Randall Collection (Woodward, 6/1885), lot 932.
H. Extremely Fine. David S. Wilson (S.H. Chapman, 3/1907), lot 77; William Forrester Dunham Collection (Mehl, 6/1941), lot 2100.
I. Uncirculated. James Ten Eyck Collection (Mehl, 5/1922), lot 192.
J. Uncirculated. Belden Roach Collection (Mehl, 2/1944), lot 550.
K. Uncirculated. Colonel James W. Flanagan Collection (Stack's, 3/1944), lot 1102.
L. Semi-Proof. J.F. Bell Collection (Stack's, 12/1944), lot 348.
M. Uncirculated Gem. H.R. Lee Collection (Stack's, 10/1947), lot 1246.
N. Uncirculated. Golden Sale (Kreisberg-Schulman, 3/1962), lot 2488.
O. Uncirculated. Million Dollar Sale (Federal Brand, 1/1963), lot 4186.
P. AU. J.F. Bell Collection (RARCOA, 4/1963), lot 604.
From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFY8, PCGS# 8136)

View all of [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]

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Auction Dates
January, 2014
8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 11
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