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Desirable 1832 BD-1 Half Eagle
13 Stars, MS62

1832 $5 13 Stars MS62 PCGS. Breen-6495, BD-1, R.5. Just two varieties of 1832 half eagles are known, with either 12 or 13 stars on the obverse. The 12 Stars variety is a major rarity with less than 10 examples known. That makes the 13 Stars variety the only collectible die variety of the date, if any half eagle from this period could be called collectible. John Dannreuther estimates that just 40 to 50 examples of this variety are known, while Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth provided a higher estimate of 50 to 75 examples. NGC has certified 16 specimens that grade between AU55 and MS65, and PCGS has certified 15 specimens that grade from AU50 to MS64. The average grade of all those pieces is MS61, placing the present example slightly finer than average.
This example clearly shows a heavily repunched star 4, leading one observer to quip that it is a "14 Star" variety. Both sides have frosty luster with brilliant greenish-yellow gold surfaces, exhibiting great eye appeal. The strike is a little uneven with a weak date, and softness on the upper part of the left (facing) wing. Despite a substantial recorded mintage, there are apparently no observed die states, suggesting that the mintage may have been much smaller than recorded. Any early issue produced at the first mint with a mintage recorded at about 150,000 coins should show some signs of die deterioration, even if only clash marks or die lapping to remove clash marks. This may be an area for further study. Even with substantial melting, the number of survivors should be much greater for the mintage record of nearly all the dates in the 1820s and early 1830s.
From The James Mossman Collection.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYG, PCGS# 8156)

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Auction Dates
January, 2009
7th-11th Wednesday-Sunday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 668

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Very good selection of scarce material as well as some for the average collector.
Rochester, MN
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