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    1830 Half Eagle, BD-2, Bright MS63
    High R.5, Difficult To Improve Upon

    1830 $5 MS63 NGC. BD-2, High R.5. Small 5D. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b. After the Anglo-American War, also known as the "War of 1812," concluded in late 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, rising gold prices made the bullion content of half eagles worth more than their face value, so it became profitable to melt the coins. Half eagles were the largest circulating denomination of the era -- eagles were discontinued after 1804 and quarter eagles scarcely circulated at all, and in any case were minted in tiny quantities and sporadically.

    The half eagles of the 1820s and 1830s are thus far rarer than their sometimes-generous mintage figures would lead one to believe, and they are far rarer than their half eagle counterparts from the 1800s and early 1810s, as a rule. Irrespective of varieties, a few of the half eagle dates with die pairings that can be considered "somewhat uncommon" or "scarce" (R.2 and R.3, respectively) include the 1800, 1805, 1807, 1809, 1811, and 1813. But beginning with the High R.4 1814/3 date (sole die pairing), every date and variety through the end of the Capped Bust series, in 1834, is at least R.4, with most far rarer. (No half eagles were struck in 1816 or 1817.) Some dates, such as the 1815, 1822, 1828/7, and 1829, are among the most storied issues in American numismatics, and the series overall is among the most difficult to complete -- one would say virtually impossible, given the existence of only three 1822 half eagles, two of which are in the Smithsonian Institution.

    In the case of the 1830, the two varieties, distinguished by the Large 5D (BD-1) or Small 5D in the denomination, are ranked Low R.6 and High R.5, respectively, by Bass-Dannreuther, meaning that an estimated 25 to 35 survive of the BD-1 and 30 to 40 of the BD-2 -- not a significant difference, and both are quite rare and desirable.

    The present coin, an example of the Small 5D BD-2, is more collectible still, given its high grade and remarkable eye appeal. The bright yellow-gold surfaces show minimal abrasions on both sides; only tiny, individually insignificant ticks appear. The strike is sharp overall, despite minor weakness on Liberty's ear and the surrounding hair, along with the left (facing) shield border on the reverse. This is a rare early gold issue that collectors will search long and hard to improve upon. Census: 3 in 63, 2 finer (11/13).
    From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# BFYC, PCGS# 8152)

    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 [The collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2014
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 858

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