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    Description

    Extremely Rare 1821 BD-2 Half Eagle, AU55
    None in Bass Collection

    1821 $5 AU55 NGC. BD-2, High R.7. Only two die varieties are known for the 1821 half eagles, with an estimated combined population of only 15 to 20 pieces. The varieties are quickly distinguished by the position of Star 6. On BD-1 (Breen 3-A), star 6 points to the cap, above the headband. About 12 to 15 are known, according to John Dannreuther in Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, A Study of Die States, 1795-1834. On BD-2 (Breen 2-A), star 6 points to the headband, below the cap. Dannreuther estimates that just three to five examples of BD-2 are known. Walter Breen recorded a third variety, Breen 1-A. It is now known that his obverse 1 and obverse 2 are the same die.
    We are aware of exactly four examples of 1821 BD-2, and two of those are in the Smithsonian Institution:

    1. Proof. National Numismatic Collection; Smithsonian Institution.
    2. AU55 PCGS. Bowers and Merena (9/1984), lot 127; Auction ' 89 (Superior, 7/1989), lot 888; Michael Keston (Superior, 1/1996), lot 112; Superior (5/2001), lot 4043.
    3. AU55 NGC. The present specimen. George H. Earle (Henry Chapman, 6/1912), lot 2391; Flanagan Collection (Stack's, 1944), lot 1097; LEE Sale (Stack's, 10/1947), lot 1240; New Netherlands (6/1957), lot 378; unknown intermediaries to the present consignor.
    4. AU50. Col. E.H.R. Green; C.T. Weihman; Josiah K. Lilly, Jr.; Smithsonian Institution.

    The two collectible examples of this extreme rarity are in similar grades. This piece has deep yellow color with considerable reddish-violet toning on both sides. Although noticeably abraded, enough luster is present to provide a high degree of aesthetic appeal.
    For those whose goal is a complete set of half eagle die varieties, the present opportunity should be greeted with enthusiasm. Harry Bass only had three auction opportunities to acquire an example of this die marriage during his entire collecting life, and yet he was unable to add an example to his collection.(Registry values: P5)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25PX, PCGS# 8129)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,195

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