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    1809/8 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle, MS65
    Popular Guide Book Variety, BD-1
    Only One Finer Coin at PCGS

    1809/8 $5 BD-1, High R.3, MS65 PCGS Secure. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b, with a faint die crack through stars 1-7 and an even fainter crack through stars 10-13 on the right, and some prominent clash marks above the eagle's wings on the reverse. The 1809/8 Capped Bust Left half eagle claims a mintage of 33,875 pieces, with a single die variety known for the date. This was the only use of the obverse, but the reverse die was used previously to strike the BD-4 variety of 1808. John Dannreuther estimates the surviving population at 250-325 examples in all grades.

    All known specimens show the remnants of some artifact below the final digit in the date, but there is some doubt about the "overdate" status of this issue, as some researchers believe the undertype is just a misplaced 9. Interestingly, the 9 is noticeably larger than the other numerals in the date. The undertype was noticed at least as early as the Lorin G. Parmelee Sale (New York Coin & Stamp, 6/1890), lot 862, where the cataloger noted:

    "Half Eagle: over '08: sharp, perfect impression: proof surface: slight nicks; very fine."

    The lot realized $11, to prominent gold collector William Woodin. Woodin was an astute student of die varieties and a close associate of Edgar Adams, who noted the apparent overdate in his writings. Interestingly, early issues of the Guide Book have listings for both the overdate and perfect date varieties of 1809, but no perfect date coins are known today. All 1809 half eagles have traditionally been referred to as "overdates" since the mid-1950s. The current prices realized record for this issue is $152,750, brought by the MS66 PCGS specimen in the Pogue Collection in 2016.

    The present coin is a delightful Gem, with sharply detailed design elements throughout, aside from the dentils and some stars on the left, where faint traces of planchet adjustment marks cause some softness. The pleasing orange-gold surfaces are well-preserved, with only the most insignificant signs of contact. A few amber alloy spots are evident in the letters of AMERICA, making recognition easy for pedigree purposes. Vibrant mint luster adds to the outstanding eye appeal. This coin should find a home in the finest collection or Registry Set. Population: 5 in 65, 1 finer (10/17).
    Ex: C.L. Lee Sale (American Numismatic Rarities, 9/2005), lot 1240, realized $77,625.
    Selections from The McCoy Family Collection of U.S. Early Gold. (NGC ID# BFXK, Variety PCGS# 507603, Base PCGS# 8104)

    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 [Selections from The McCoy Family Collection of U.S. Early Gold ]

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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    3rd-8th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
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