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    Elusive 1806/5 BD-2 Quarter Eagle, AU55

    1806/5 $2 1/2 7x6 Stars AU55 PCGS. CAC. BD-2, Low R.6. A desirable example of this elusive variety, with bright green-gold luster and rich orange toning on both sides. The surfaces are smooth with few imperfections on either side. An attractive and desirable example.

    Die State.
    The obverse is cracked from star 7 through the tops of LIB and through the date, as on the last of the 1805 quarter eagles.

    Condition Census.
    There are probably four or five Mint State examples known, with the balance in XF and AU grades. Only about two dozen are known in all grades.

    Plated in our 1992 ANA catalog.

    Obverse Die. Overdate with 5 visible at the lower right curve of 6.
    Serif of 1 is below the hair and top of 6 lightly joins the bust. The last two digits are extremely close and appear to touch on lower grade specimens. LIB are more closely spaced than other letters. The top left serif of E is missing. L is slightly low. Seven stars left and six right. Stars 1 and 13 are distant from hair and bust, while stars 7 and 8 are closer to cap and Y. Star pairs 8-9 and 10-11 are slightly closer than others. A dentil over the right side of star 9 is larger than others and triangular.
    State a. Perfect. State b. Cracked through stars 6 and 7, to the tops of LIB. State c. Cracked through the date.

    Reverse Die. Star 11 is sharply recut with a total of 10 points.
    All E's are missing their upper left serif. D is equally close to the third and fourth feathers. ITED are each slightly higher than their adjacent letter to the left. E and D lean slightly right. First S is slightly low and A is slightly high. The upright of E is over the space between clouds 4 and 5. First A in AMERICA close to the third and fourth feathers. Final A touches the claw. AME and RI are close while ER and ICA are widely spaced. Leaves join I under the right foot and C at the center. Five berries with one stemless, two having short stems, and two having long stems. Only one arrow point extends past the right side of U with the outer arrow point below center of that letter. Thirteen large stars with only star 5 in the top row not touching the clouds. Star 12 has a point between the lower and upper beak with another point touching the ribbon. Star 13 is isolated in the field, not touching devices.
    State a. Perfect.

    Heritage Commentary.
    The obverse is the same die as 1805 BD-1, but with all four digits overdated. With the same reverse die, this is effectively the same die marriage as 1805 BD-1! This reverse was earlier used to produce quarter eagles, 1805 BD-1, 1806 BD-1, and later to produce 1807 BD-1 quarter eagles, and 1807 JR-1 dimes. This is one of very few overdates in the U.S. series of coins with an obverse die used in the previous year to produce coinage. Other instances include the 1806/5 quarter dollars and half dollars.

    Consignor Commentary.
    The 1992 Heritage ANA Sale yielded three quarter eagles which I never felt the need to upgrade (1805, 1806/5 and 1807 LDS). This was clearly the prize. Even then, I understood the rarity of this variety and believed that this coin might be in the Condition Census. I was fortunate to get it. Since then I have seen only one that I liked better and that was priced far beyond what I would pay. I still believe that it is likely in the Condition Census, although the challenge of identifying multiple appearances of the same coin makes it difficult to know.

    Ex: 1992 ANA (Heritage, 8/1992), lot 2168.
    From The Ed Price Collection.
    (Registry values: P9) (NGC ID# BFVX, PCGS# 7655)

    Weight: 4.37 grams

    Metal: 91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper

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

    View all of [Ed Price Collection ]

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jul-Aug, 2008
    30th-3rd Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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