1826 Half Eagle, MS61
    Elusive Early Gold Issue
    Large Letters Reverse, BD-1

    1826 $5 MS61 NGC. BD-1, R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/e. A modest mintage of 18,069 Capped Head Left half eagles was achieved in 1826, with two die varieties known for the date. The coin offered here represents the scarce BD-1 variety, with star 13 positioned low and large letters in the reverse legends. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse had been used three times before, beginning in 1820. The BD-1 variety is rare, with an estimated surviving population of 30-40 examples in all grades. The BD-1 probably accounted for 12,500-17,500 pieces of the reported mintage, as the other variety of this date is extremely rare.

    The 1826 half eagle has been avidly collected since coin collecting first became widely popular in this country. An early auction appearance was in lot 2777 of the Sixth Semi-Annual Sale (W. Elliot Woodward, 3,1865), "1826 Splendid impression, and exceedingly rare." The lot sold to Heman Ely for $36, a good price at the time. Currently, the record price realized for any 1826 half eagle is $763,750, realized by the magnificent MS66 PCGS BD-2 specimen in Heritage Auctions' 2014 FUN Signature, ex: David Akers.

    The present coin is a well-struck example and shows the curls on Liberty's hair and the complex folded cap clearly. The reverse is similarly well-defined with the scroll and the eagle generally sharp. The bright yellow-gold surfaces show only minor signs of contact, with prooflike luster in sheltered areas. These early half eagles are true American classics. They have been widely collected since the 1870s and are considered one of the most difficult collections to complete.
    Ex: Abner Kreisberg Corporation, purchased on June 21, 1983 for $15,000 by the owner of the Beverly Hills Collection; Long Beach Signature (Heritage, 2/2005), lot 7788.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 25R4, PCGS# 8135)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    23rd-27th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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