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    1795 Small Eagle Five, BD-3, AU58+
    Reflective Fields, First-Year Type Coin

    1795 $5 Small Eagle, BD-3, High R.3, AU58+ PCGS Secure. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b. Several faint die marks connect the TE in UNITED to the dentils in this die state. Although BD-3 is the only use of this reverse die, it is not currently documented with a terminal die state. At the early Mint, working dies were frequently used until they were heavily cracked. It is presumed that the BD-3 reverse must have failed quickly, resulting in few or no coins struck during the terminal period. The obverse die, by contrast was employed for BD-2, -3, and -4, before an obverse crack led to its retirement.

    BD-3 is a plentiful variety among early half eagles. In fact, it is believed that BD-3 represents up to one third of all surviving 1795 Small Eagle fives, all 12 die varieties included. In Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, John Dannreuther writes: "Although this is a common variety of 1795 Small Eagle coinage, one must realize common is a very relative term. Even if there are 200 extant for this die pairing, it is still a rare coin."

    BD-3 is especially sought-after in the upper AU and in Mint State grades as a type coin to represent the Small Eagle design and the first year of gold coinage at the early Mint. This coin is one of just two Plus-graded AU58 pieces at PCGS (11/18). It boasts a sharp central strike on Liberty's hair curls with slight high-point wear on the eagle's head. The borders are also well-defined, and in the peripheries the fields display attractive prooflike mirroring beneath a light. This bright yellow-gold coin has outstanding eye appeal and no distracting abrasions.

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25ND, Variety PCGS# 519852, Base PCGS# 8066)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2018
    13th-14th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,824

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