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1795 Br.1-B, BD-3 (R-4). Brilliant Uncirculated

From Stack's October 2006 New York Auction, Session 2 on Oct 18, 2006

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Categories  •  Stack's October 2006 New York The 71st Anniversary Sale U. S. Half Eagles ($5.00 Gold) U. S. Capped Bust Right, Small Eagle Half Eagles
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1795 Br.1-B, BD-3 (R-4). Brilliant Uncirculated, with claims to Choice. Bright yellow gold on the...1795 Br.1-B, BD-3 (R-4). Brilliant Uncirculated, with claims to Choice. Bright yellow gold on the obverse and reverse, with abundant lustre in the fields. The strike is bold on Liberty's finer curls, particularly those near her cap, an area frequently found poorly defined on these. For identification, there is a shallow scratch along the denticles at stars six and seven, and a minute tick on Liberty's upper cheekbone below her temple. On the reverse there are a couple of trivial scratches between 'F A' in OF AMERICA, a fainter pair of scratches crosses these from the wreath. The eagle's breast feathers are clear with evidence of a well balanced strike, although portions of the feathers on its neck and head show minor softness. Recall that these were struck on primitive equipment, and the dies were entirely punched by hand using individual letter punches. The head of Liberty had to be placed just so within the borders of the die to allow for the stars, date and LIBERTY.

On the reverse the eagle has outstretched wings, quite unlike those seen on the silver coins of the era. The eagle is perched on an olive branch and holds a wreath within his beak. The edge of the coin is reeded, a simple device to deter shavers from carving a bit of gold off each coin and spending the coin for full value while retaining that shaving of gold. On this particular coin the reeded edge is sharp and it appears these early Half Eagles were run through the Castaing edge machine prior to being struck by the dies. The 1795 Half Eagles were some of the first gold coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint, along with Eagles of that year. Quarter Eagle production followed in 1796. A foremost rarity in this grade, and a coin which boasts wonderful eye appeal and surface quality.

Lot # 2131 Session 2
Hammer Price: $38,000.00

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