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Description

1878 Pattern Five Dollar, Judd-1574, PR63 Gilt

1878 $5 Five Dollar, Judd-1574, Pollock-1766, High R.6, PR63 Gilt NGC.
Design.
The William Barber Flowing Hair motif graces the obverse. Liberty faces left, wearing a headband eponymously inscribed. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above, the date 1878 below. The reverse offers an eagle with lowered wings in the center, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM around. The arrows are long and slender, their tips extending behind and past the eagle's wing, and the olive branch has six leaves. Struck in a larger diameter than regular half eagle issues, in copper, gilt, with a reeded edge.

Commentary.
The series of 1878 half eagles, Judd-1568A through 1574A, were struck on larger-diameter, thinner planchets in an effort to combat the plague of malefactors scooping out the center of a gold coin and replacing it with less-expensive metal. Mint Director Henry Linderman's 1878 Annual Report states:

"... the worst danger which threatens our gold coin, from counterfeiters, is the filling with an inferior metal or alloy. By this art the piece presents genuine exteriors, but the inner part removed, a disk of platinum, pure or alloyed, is inserted in its place and closed with a ribbed rim of gold. Its is therefore partly genuine and partly counterfeit, and its value reduced by several dollars, differing according to the denomination of the piece.

"The largest chance of spoilation of course occurs with the twenty-dollar pieces, but the pieces of ten and five dollars have also been filled. So far the mischief has been very limited, as it evidently requires first-class workmen, and is slow work; but pieces of this sort are, of all false issues, the most difficult to detect."

Physical Description.
Smooth, even gilding coats both sides of this pretty piece. A couple of minor areas of darker toning appear on the reverse in the arrows and the right wing, but there is plenty of appeal for the PR63 grade. NGC Census: NGC has certified six examples in all grades, including gilt and nongilt coins. Of the two gilt pieces at that service, this is the finest. PCGS Population: Six pieces total, none of which is noted as gilt (12/08).

Provenance.
Ex: Auction '89 (Stack's, 7/1989), lot 1865.
From The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two.
(PCGS# 61937)

View all of [The Lemus Collection, Queller Family Collection Part Two ]

Service and Handling Description: Coins & Currency (view shipping information)

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Auction Info

Auction Dates
January, 2009
7th-11th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 10
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Page Views: 471

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