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    Description

    1802/1 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, MS64+
    Popular Early Overdate
    BD-8 Variety

    1802/1 $5 BD-8, R.4, MS64+ PCGS. CAC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b, with the die crack through UNI in UNITED. A substantial mintage of 53,176 Capped Bust Right half eagles was accomplished in 1802, using leftover obverse dies from the previous year that have a 2 punched over the final digit in the date. Eight die varieties are known for the date. This coin represents the BD-8 variety, with the 2 touching the bust, perfect T's in the reverse legend, and the final S in STATES over the far right of a cloud. The BD-8 is a relatively available variety, in the context of the series, with a surviving population of 150-200 examples in all grades. The BD-8 probably accounted for 10,000-15,000 examples of the reported mintage. The obverse die was used previously to strike the BD-6 and BD-7 varieties of this date, but this was the only use of the reverse die. It is possible that there was a remarriage of these dies, with some late die state examples of BD-7 struck between the two pairings.

    Collectors have prized the early half eagles since the earliest days of the hobby and the 1802/1 began appearing at auction at least as early as lot 176 of the A.C. Kline Sale (M. Thomas & Sons, 6/1855), although the lot description did not mention the overdate. By the mid-1860s, catalogers began taking note of this feature, as W. Elliot Woodward described the coin in lot 2755 of his Sixth Semi-Annual Sale as, "1802 over 1801; uncirculated, as fine as proof; scarce." The lot was purchased by Thomas Cleneay for $9, a strong price at the time. More recent sales include the MS64 PCGS example in lot 5346 of the Philadelphia Signature (Heritage, 8/2012) that realized $64,625.

    This Plus-graded Choice specimen exhibits sharply detailed design elements and dramatic clash marks in the fields on both sides. The well-preserved antique-gold surfaces radiate vibrant mint luster, with outstanding eye appeal. This coin represents an exceptional balance of quality and value, as MS65 examples have sold for as much as $138,000 in recent Heritage auctions. Population (for the variety): 1 in 64, 0 finer (1/19). (NGC ID# 25NX, Variety PCGS# 519889, Base PCGS# 8083)

    Weight: 8.75 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper


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

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2019
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
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