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Rare 1834 Crosslet 4 With Motto Five Dollar, MS62 NGC1834 $5 Capped Head, Crosslet 4 MS62 NGC. Breen-6500, BD-2, R.5. Final year of the Capped Head Left design, and one of the rarest issues among the Reduced Diameter coins (1829-1834). Among the four different varieties known for this date, two have a Crosslet 4 in the date and two have a Plain 4. It was Harry Bass' conclusion that this variety was probably struck after the other Crosslet 4 variant. This is based on the die lapping seen on the lower shield stripes of the Bass 2(b)/B(a), while the 1(b)/B(b) shows "more extensive roughness."
Breen estimated that only 14-18 pieces were still extant today of the 1834 (all varieties). That estimate was undoubtedly based on the number of pieces he had seen. After 20 years of third-party grading, a more likely estimate of the number of survivors is around 40-45 pieces. Among the two Crosslet 4 varieties, MS62 seems to be a median grade with seven certified in lower grades (one is an XF40) and five are finer.
Like the silver coins of the same era, gold coins were also worth more melted than their face value. As a result, the original mintages of Capped Head quarter eagles and half eagles are essentially useless when it comes to assessing availability today. Thousands were melted in the 1820s and 1830s. This situation was not remedied until February of 1834 when the gold content was lowered slightly, thus discouraging melting and encouraging the use of Classic-design gold in the channels of commerce.
This is a bright orange-gold coin that has a slightly reflective finish in the fields. The highpoints show a bit of striking weakness on each side. Both obverse and reverse display the long, arcing die cracks normally seen, through stars 9 to 13, and on the reverse through ERICA to 5 D. The bright surfaces show only one mentionable defect, a thin, almost imperceptible pinscratch above star 6. A rare opportunity to acquire this important date.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 25RP, PCGS# 8161)
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