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    Description

    1795 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, AU58
    Small Eagle, BD-3 Variety
    Popular First-Year Issue

    1795 $5 Small Eagle, BD-3, High R.3, AU58 PCGS. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b. Mint Director David Rittenhouse ordered Chief Engraver Robert Scot to produce dies for the first U.S. gold coinage in May of 1795, but he resigned for reasons of ill health before coinage could begin. It fell to his successor, Henry William DeSaussure, to oversee the beginning of gold coinage at the Philadelphia Mint, and he took a special interest in those issues. The first delivery of half eagles took place on July 31, 1795, quickly followed by eight more deliveries through September 16, after which gold coinage was switched over to ten dollar eagles. A total of 12 die varieties of 1795 Capped Bust Right, Small Eagle half eagles are known to present-day numismatists, but early students of the series listed as many as 14-16 varieties in their various writings. This coin is a representative of the BD-3 variety, easily identified by the position of star 11 touching both Y in LIBERTY and star 12. Walter Breen listed the BD-3 as the first issue in his emission series (his variety 1-A), but die evidence suggests it was actually the third variety struck. The obverse die was also used to strike the BD-2 and BD-4 varieties of this date, while this was the only use of the reverse die. The BD-3 is a relatively available variety, with a surviving population of 175-225 examples in all grades, making it a popular choice with type collectors and series specialists alike.

    The present coin is an impressive near-Mint specimen that shows just a trace of high-point wear on the strongly impressed design elements. The eagle's breast feathers are particularly distinct and the reverse shows a die crack or graver's spike from the edge to E of UNITED. The pleasing orange-gold surfaces are lightly abraded, with a few minor marks on Liberty's jaw and the lower right field the only flaws of note. No planchet adjustment marks are evident and the overall presentation is especially attractive.
    From The Hutchinson Collection.

    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.

    View all of [The Hutchinson Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,729

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