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    1810 Capped Bust Left Half Eagle, MS65
    Large Date, Large 5, BD-4
    Conditionally Rare This Fine

    1810 $5 Large Date, Large 5, BD-4, R.2, MS65 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/b, with a vertical die crack at the clasp. A substantial mintage of 100,287 Capped Bust Left half eagles was accomplished in 1810, with four die varieties known for the date. The present coin represents the BD-4 variety, easily distinguished by the large numerals in the date and the Large 5 in the denomination. The BD-4 is a relatively available issue, with a surviving population of 500-750 pieces in all grades, but examples in MS65 condition are extremely elusive.

    John Dannreuther estimates the BD-4 dies were used to strike 75,000-90,000 pieces of the reported mintage, accounting for the availability of the issue today. This was the second use of the obverse die, which was previously used to strike the rare BD-3 variety of this date. This was the only use of the reverse die.

    The 1810 half eagle has been a favorite with collectors since the earliest days of the hobby. As a date, the issue began appearing at auction at least as early as lot 184 of the A.C. Kline Sale (M. Thomas & Sons, 6/1855), where the coin was merely listed by date and the lot realized $5.37. By the 1880s, numismatists like Captain John W. Haseltine and John Colvin Randall began classifying the coins by die variety. In the sale of the Randall Collection (W. Elliot Woodward, 6/1885), the cataloger identified three die varieties of 1810 half eagles, including the example in lot 913, which was almost certainly a BD-4, "1810 No. 1; large date; fine, scarce." The lot realized $5.50, only a small increase over the appearance in the Kline sale. Of course, the price has skyrocketed since then and recent sales include the MS65 PCGS example in lot 5090 of the FUN Signature (Heritage, 1/2011), which realized $103,500.

    The coin offered here is a spectacular Gem, with sharply detailed design elements in most areas. Some minor incompleteness is noted in the eagle's tail and claws, due to lapping, and the dentils are weak on the left side, due to some faint planchet adjustment marks. The well-preserved orange-gold surfaces show a mix of vibrant mint luster and prooflike reflectivity, with many parallel die striations in the fields. A few planchet adjustment marks are also visible on the bust, on close inspection. The overall presentation is most attractive. Census: 5 in 65, 1 finer (9/19). (NGC ID# BFXP, Variety PCGS# 507598, Base PCGS# 8108)

    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
    October, 2019
    17th-24th Thursday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 21
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,748

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