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    1834 Capped Head Five, Crosslet 4, AU55
    BD-2, Last Year of 'Old-Tenor' Gold

    1834 $5 Capped Head, Crosslet 4 AU55 NGC. BD-2, R.5. Bass-Dannreuther Die State b/b. The 1834 Capped Head, Crosslet 4 half eagles marked the end of an era, the fading of the old-tenor gold coins in favor of the redesigned Classic Head coins that would appear in the same year. The obverse of the Classic Head was a complete makeover, while the reverse was a more subtle redrawing, coupled with the removal of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

    The melt value of the old-tenor gold coins had risen so much that they would not stay in circulation, as it was more profitable to melt them than to spend them. The issues dated from 1813 to 1834 are, in general, far-rarer than the earlier half eagles dated 1807 to 1812, and some of the later issues are among the rarest U.S. gold coins.

    The BD-2 die marriage can be identified by the crosslet 4 in the date positioned about halfway under the incomplete lowest curl of Liberty; on the BD-4, the other Crosslet 4 die, the 4 is completely under a full curl. The reverse of BD-2 shows the denomination 5D centered in the field; the end of the flag on the 5 is about even with the tip of the fletchings.

    The obverse shows a fine die crack connecting stars 9-13 and partway to star 8, although we see as yet no sign of a crack near star 6. The reverse shows an arcing die crack from MERICA down nearly to 5D.

    The surfaces on this Choice AU piece show excellent mint luster remaining over greenish-gold surfaces. A few small ticks appear under a loupe but are quite minor. The strike is a bit soft throughout, but the overall preservation is excellent for this rare variety.
    The BD-2 die marriage, even though R.5 or rare, is still the most available of the year, and the "type is rare," as Dannreuther correctly points out. This piece is one of only two in this grade at NGC, and six are finer, the finest a single MS65 (12/13).
    From the collection of Donald E. Bently, sold for the benefit of the Bently Foundation.(Registry values: P6)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25RP, PCGS# 8161)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 89.92% Gold, 10.08% 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: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,141

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