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    Description

    1795 Small Eagle Five Dollar, AU55
    Elusive BD-6 Variety, S Over D

    1795 $5 Small Eagle, S Over D, BD-6, R.5, AU55 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/c. A popular S Over D variety with the final S in STATES punched over an errant D -- this blundered reverse was used for two of the 12 different 1795 Small Eagle varieties. Both BD-6 dies show curious linear die gouges periodically around the borders, and in this state some light peripheral die cracks. Collectively, the 1795 half eagle was the first gold coin struck by the infant Philadelphia Mint, after a coinage impediment was alleviated. The Mint Act of April 2, 1792 required an excessive surety bond for Mint officers, and those best suited for the job of assayer and coiner were unable to post the bond. The Mint Act required a $10,000 bond be posted by officers whose annual salary was only $1,500. On February 8, 1794, David Rittenhouse wrote to Congress that "a man's ability to give security depends much on accidental circumstances, little connected with either his qualifications or his moral character."

    Gold coinage began in July 1795. Moses Brown of Massachusetts made the first deposit of gold on February 12, 1795, providing 128 ounces. The first delivery of half eagles consisted of 744 coins that the Chief Coiner delivered to the Mint Treasurer for distribution. Given the number of die pairs used, it is likely that 1795-dated Small Eagle fives were coined into 1796.

    This pleasing Choice AU BD-6 coin exhibits bright yellow-gold color with hints of reflectivity in the fields, especially near the borders. Both sides are lightly marked as expected, but there are no significant abrasions. A splendid piece, this important half eagle will make a nice addition to a specialized variety collection, or a date or type set.
    Ex: FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2010), lot 2150, where it realized $37,375. (NGC ID# 25ND, Variety PCGS# 519855, 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.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2018
    29th-31st Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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