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Rare 1806/5 7x6 Stars Quarter Eagle, BD-2, AU58
One of the Rarest Draped Bust Varieties

1806/5 $2 1/2 7x6 Stars AU58 PCGS. Breen-6123, BD-2, High R.5. On this overdate variety, the stars are arranged seven left, six right. Garrett and Guth note that the issue "represents one of the rare instances when a die that had already been used to strike coins in one year was softened, overdated, rehardened, and then used to strike even more coins. Most other overdates occur on unused dies from previous years."
Bass and Dannreuther go a step further, saying the entire date was "repunched on this die with the 180, as well as the new digit, the 6, punched over the existing date--obliterating the crack through the 805 of the date. This was a matter of economy, but why they just did not strike more coins dated 1805 is not known. Certainly, many previous years' dies were used in subsequent years, as silver dollars were struck until 1805 using prior dated dies!"
Perhaps the reheating and recooling of the obverse die caused it to finally fail, as this is one of the rarest early quarter eagle varieties. Among the Draped Bust quarter eagles, only the 1796 No Stars with extended arrows (BD-1), the 1804 13 Star Reverse (BD-1), and the single 1797 variety are more elusive. The reverse, however, was used not only for this variety, but also for the 1806/4 BD-1, the 1805 BD-1, the 1807 BD-1, and finally for more than 100,000 examples of the 1807 JR-1 dime.
The present example, while showing slight evidence of light handling, is only a whisper away from Mint State. The fields are slightly reflective, even through the predominantly reddish patina, and there are tinges of lilac in the protected areas around the devices. A pleasing example of this rare die marriage, one not often seen in the numismatic marketplace. Population: 5 in 58, 1 finer (12/08).(Registry values: P9) (NGC ID# BFVX, PCGS# 7655)

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Auction Dates
February, 2009
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 9
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