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    Incredible 1820 BD-7 Half Eagle, MS65

    1820 $5 Curl 2, Large Letters MS65 PCGS. Breen-6477, BD-7, High R.7. Varieties of the 1820 half eagles are extremely confusing, and even the experts get them wrong from time to time. This is mostly due to the changing variety designations by various authors, including Walter Breen and Robert Miller. John Dannreuther's recent entry into the literature of early gold coinage has gone a long way to straighten out the past problems. Today, we know that there are nine different varieties of the 1820 half eagles, including three major types:
    1820 Square Base 2, Large Letters: BD-1, BD-2, BD-3, BD-4
    1820 Curved Base 2, Large Letters: BD-5, BD-7, BD-9
    1820 Curved Base 2, Small Letters: BD-6, BD-8
    The Square Base 2 and Curved Base 2 (sometimes called Curl 2) are easy to distinguish by a glance at the date. The base of the 2 is either straight, or it is curved. The difference between the Large Letters and Small Letters reverse dies has been a source of confusion, but again, they are easy to differentiate. Each T in the legend of the Large Letters reverse dies has a small triangular notch on the right side of the upright, just above the base of the letter. Each T on the Small Letters reverse dies are perfectly formed.
    In his remarkable collection, Harry Bass had two examples of this variety, one a proof and the other a Gem Mint State piece. In addition to his two coins, and the present specimen, we know of three other Mint State examples of BD-7. The Census of six coins follows:

    1. PR63.
    Thomas G. Melish; Abe Kosoff, April 1956, Lot 1943; Norweb Collection; Bowers and Merena, October 1987, Lot 772; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation. Bass Sylloge 3137.
    2. MS65 PCGS.
    Wayne Pratali, August 13, 1969; Harry W. Bass, Jr.; Bowers and Merena, October 1999, Lot 814.
    3. MS65 PCGS. The present specimen. Bowers and Merena, June 1986, Lot 344.
    4. MS.
    James A. Stack, Sr. Collection; Stack's, October 1994, Lot 1068.
    5. MS. Samuel W. Wolfson; Stack's, October 1962, Lot 363.
    6. MS.
    John A. Beck Collection; Abner Kreisberg's Quality Sales Corporation, January 1975, Lot 403.

    This amazing coin is boldly defined with few abrasions of any consequence. The surfaces are nearly pristine, marred only by a tiny mark above the scroll on the reverse. The surfaces are brilliant with frosty yellow-gold luster, accented by traces of olive and orange A remarkable coin, tied for the finest known business strike of the BD-7 variety.(Registry values: P4)

    Coin Index Numbers: (PCGS# 8127)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2008
    16th-18th Wednesday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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