Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 32

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Lot 2408

1797 $5 Capped Bust. 7 over 5. Large eagle. NGC graded AU-58. Well struck with nice shades of gold toning. An important major variety among early half eagles, the overdate 1797/5 is represented by fewer then a dozen extant specimens. Even smooth orange gold with brownish "antique" tints includes abundant remaining luster, particularly around the main devices. The reverse is nicely preserved as well and retains splendid luster, and some deeper orange toning may be seen throughout the reverse fields. The usual light areas of striking weakness are nowhere seen on the eagle's head and upper body and border of the shield on reverse, which is surprising and definitely atypical for the type. Some light abrasions on the surfaces are consistent with the high-end AU-58 grade. To put it in a nutshell, the overall aesthetic appeal is outstanding!

The sharpness of this specimen is easily finer than the Bass duplicate, earlier from Eliasberg, which was sold in October 1999. That piece was graded AU-53 (PCGS) but showed substantial central weakness on both sides.

Two obverses of the extremely rare 1797 Large Eagle $5 are known, this overdate variety and the normal date variety represented by a single specimen impounded in the Smithsonian Institution. This obverse shows a remarkably bold overdate, with the nearly total 5 underdigit unflinchingly visible to the naked eye. It must be considered among the sharpest overdates in the American series of coinage, comparable to the beloved 1817/3 half dollar. A legendary rarity in the Half Eagle series. Pop 2; 1 in 61. as finest by NGC (PCGS # 8077) .
Estimated Value $100,000 - 120,000.

Realized $126,500

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