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    Description

    1795 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle, MS61
    First-Year Gold Issue
    Popular Blundered S/D Reverse, BD-6

    1795 $5 Small Eagle, S Over D, BD-6, R.5, MS61 NGC. Bass-Dannreuther Die State c/c. The Philadelphia Mint struck gold coins for the first time in 1795, beginning with 744 Capped Bust Right, Small Eagle half eagles delivered on July 31. By the end of the year a total of 8,707 five dollar gold coins had been struck, with 12 different die varieties known for the date and type. It is virtually certain that 1795-dated half eagles were struck in later years, as well, as the Mint routinely used serviceable dies until they failed, regardless of the calendar year. Three 1795-dated obverse dies were later used (probably in 1798) to strike three more half eagle varieties with the Heraldic Eagle reverse.

    This coin represents the very scarce BD-6 variety, easily identified by the position of the 1 in the date free of the curl on the obverse, and the curious blunder on the reverse legend, where the second S in STATES is clearly stamped over a D. This was the only use of the obverse die, but the blundered reverse had been used previously to strike the very rare 1795 BD-5 variety. The BD-6 probably accounted for 1,000-1,500 pieces of the reported mintage, and the surviving population numbers 60-80 examples in all grades.

    The present coin is an attractive Mint State specimen that shows a late state of the dies, with none of the planchet adjustment marks that are so prevalent on many early gold issues. In addition to the blundered S over D on the reverse, the engraver made many slips while engraving the dentils, resulting in many spurs, or spikes, from the dentils into the field. The obverse shows several die cracks,including the terminal crack from the edge near star 15 into the bust. Numerous clash marks are also evident. The reverse shows some light cracks, but it is not quite at the terminal state. The design elements are sharply detailed and the antique-gold surfaces are brightly lustrous, with a minimum number of surface marks for the grade. Census: 19 in 61 (2 in 61+), 38 finer (9/15). (NGC ID# 25ND, Variety PCGS# 519855, Base PCGS# 8066)

    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
    Oct-Nov, 2015
    29th-1st Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 27
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,400

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