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    Description

    1797/5 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, AU55
    Large Eagle, 15 Stars, BD-7
    Only Collectible Variety

    1797/5 $5 Large Eagle, 15 Stars, BD-7, High R.6, AU55 PCGS. Gold CAC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/d. The 1797 Capped Bust Right half eagle with the Large Eagle reverse is a very rare and enigmatic issue. There are three confirmed die varieties of this date and type, but two of those varieties (BD-5 and BD-6) are each represented by a single known example, and both of those coins are now in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. The coin offered here represents the elusive BD-7 variety, easily identified by the obvious overdate on the 15-star obverse. The BD-7 has a small surviving population of 16-20 specimens in all grades, and it is currently the only collectible 1797 Large Eagle variety.

    Earlier students of the series, like Edgar Adams, John H. Clapp, and Waldo Newcomer, all reported an extremely rare variety of the 1797/5 Large Eagle half eagle that cannot be confirmed by present-day numismatists. Walter Breen also reported seeing a single example, which he categorized as his variety 14-Z. Robert Miller followed Breen in listing this variety (Miller 5-Z), but he noted, "Possibly an early die state of variety 4-Y." Variety 4-Y corresponds to the BD-7 variety in the current series reference and it seems likely that the earlier citations were either misattributions or BD-7 coins in different die states from those we know about today. Still, there is much we do not understand about this mysterious issue and it is possible that another variety of the famous 1797 Large Eagle half eagle will surface someday. For now, the rare BD-7 remains the only option for series specialists seeking an example of this date and type.

    The present coin is a pleasing Choice AU specimen with just a touch of wear on the well-detailed design elements. From a late state of the dies, the reverse shows an extensive network of die cracks that probably made the die unserviceable shortly after this coin was struck. The overdate on the obverse is quite bold and the lightly abraded orange-gold surfaces show no evidence of planchet adjustment marks. The overall presentation is most attractive for this rare early half eagle. Population: 3 in 55, 2 finer (10/16).
    From The Hutchinson Collection.

    Coin Index Numbers: (Variety PCGS# 519872, Base PCGS# 8077)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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