Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Gem 1808 Five Dollar, BD-3
    Tied for Finest at PCGS

    1808 $5 MS65 PCGS. Close 5D, Breen-6456, BD-3, R.4. Bass-Dannreuther Obverse State a / Reverse State d. First, a bit of housekeeping. The BD-3 variety shows a normally spaced 5 D (with a space between) in the denomination, the one that Bass-Dannreuther call "Normal 5D." However, the authors call the BD-4, the only other nonoverdate variety of the year, the "Wide 5 D," with perhaps two letter spaces intervening. We believe that the traditional terminology, Close 5D, more aptly distinguishes the one from the other, but in any case the Close 5D and Normal 5D are used interchangeably for the same BD-3 variety.
    The BD-3 is ranked by Bass-Dannreuther as very scarce with 100-125 examples surviving, a bit rarer than the BD-4 at High R.3, or 175-225 known. The obverse is common to both the BD-3 and BD-4 varieties. The reverse die (1807E) was carried over from its first use in 1807, where it was used to strike the 1807 Capped Bust BD-8, and then both overdate 1808/7 varieties. In this late die state, the reverse die has been lapped to remove "all trace of prior clash within shield."
    Regarding the 1808 nonoverdate issues (BD-3 and BD-4), David Akers wrote in his series of references in 1975 and 1988:

    "The 1808 is far more common than the overdate in all conditions and undoubtedly at least 75% of the recorded mintage was made up of normal date coins. Although not particularly rare as a date, in my experience the 1808 is very difficult to obtain in choice mint state. Certainly it is much more rare in uncirculated condition than the 1807, 1809/8, 1810 Large Date, Large 5 or 1812."

    The present Gem example of the BD-3 is a conditionally quite rare coin. While the two 1808/7 overdate varieties are seldom seen, it is the gorgeous, exceptional surface preservation of this coin that sets it apart. Bright, frosted mint luster liberally covers fully struck surfaces. No abrasions are noticeable, save for a few faint horizontal marks on the obverse and a couple of tiny ones in the reverse fields that require magnification to see. As far as we can tell, PCGS does not distinguish between the Wide 5D and Close 5D variants in any of its reporting. This 1808 nonoverdate five is one of only two Gems in the PCGS Population Report, with none finer (6/11). A classic early gold type coin with unassailable credentials.(Registry values: P2)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25PA, PCGS# 8102)

    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 Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2011
    11th-14th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,792

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    15% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Aug 14, 2011 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 10 days left to consign to the 2021 April 21 - 26 US Coins Signature Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions is an honest, fair company. My trust in them is based on their keeping promises and following through on all my concerns... I recommend Heritage Auctions to handle and sell coins.
    Victoria L.,
    San Gabriel, CA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search