Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1821 Capped Head Left Half Eagle, AU53
    Rare Early Gold Issue
    Star 13 Near Curl, BD-1

    1821 $5 BD-1, High R.6, AU53 PCGS. CAC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/a. According to Mint records, 34,641 Capped Head Left half eagles were produced in 1821, but experts suspect many of those coins were struck from leftover 1820-dated dies. Only two die varieties are known for the date and both share a common reverse. This coin represents the BD-1 variety, with Star 13 practically touching Liberty's curl. BD-1 is a rare die marriage, but it is still seen more often than the extremely rare BD-2 variety of this date. PCGS CoinFacts estimates the surviving population of 1821-dated half eagles at "around 15" examples, including both varieties. John Dannreuther estimates 12-15 specimens of the BD-1 are extant in all grades, plus 3-5 examples of the BD-2. In our studies, we have identified 16 BD-1 examples, including two proofs, and three examples in impaired condition. We know of only two coins from the BD-2 die marriage. Of the 18 coins we have identified, two are in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution and two examples remain in the Harry Bass Core Collection at the ANA. The BD-1 obverse die was only used to strike this variety, but the hardy reverse was employed to produce the rare BD-9 variety of 1820 and all half eagle varieties from 1821-1824.

    The present coin is an impressive AU53 example, with minimal wear on the strongly impressed design elements. The pleasing orange-gold surfaces exhibit the expected number of minor abrasions for the grade, but none are unduly bothersome. Much original mint luster remains intact in sheltered areas. The overall presentation is most attractive. Population: 2 in 53, 6 finer. CAC: 1 in 53, 7 finer (8/19).
    Ex: Dr. Clifford Smith Collection (Stack's, 5/1955), lot 1684; Public Auction Sale (Lester Merkin, 9/1967), lot 423; Auction '81 (Paramount, 7/1981), lot 1428; Baltimore Auction (Bowers and Merena, 11/2009), lot 3684.
    From The Lockhart Collection, Part III. (Variety PCGS# 519929, Base PCGS# 8129)

    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 Lockhart Collection, Part III ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2020
    8th-12th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 24
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 799

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 14 days left to consign to the 2020 June 4 - 8 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach!

    Learn about consigning with us

    You and your colleagues at Heritage could not have packaged the collection in a more professional and attractive way to buyers.
    Robert Ruff,
    New York, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search