Auction Name: 2020 November 19 - 22 US Coins Signature Auction
Lot Number: 3197
Shortcut to Lot: HA.com/1321-3197
1870 $5 Five Dollar, Judd-1032 Gilt, Pollock-1167, High R.7, PR64 PCGS. CAC. Ex: Simpson. These five dollar coins were struck in copper, aluminum, and nickel (a single unique piece) from the regular dies for the circulation-issue half eagle. The present piece was struck in copper with a reeded edge and has been gilt.
As with many other 1870s-dated patterns that employ regular-issue dies, it strains credulity to believe that these were die trials -- or, indeed, that die trials in copper for a gold coin were in any way required. The Coronet Head or Liberty Head gold half eagles had been struck with no perceptible changes to the obverse die since the series' launch in 1839, and the mintage of the regular-issue half eagles of 1870 was a meager 4,000 coins. It is a virtual certainty that these copper patterns were sold in complete sets.
This gilt example offers extremely attractive honey-gold surfaces with some areas of darker patina prevalent near the rims. There is a small field mark near star 4, and on the lower reverse, a couple of curlicue lint marks appear around UNITED, FIVE, and the leaves. PCGS has seen this gilt example in PR64 and one nongilt coin, the Harry Bass piece, in PR65 Brown (8/20). Collecting Patterns – A Brief History and Commentary