Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 36

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Lot 3787

1797 $5 Capped Bust. Small eagle, 16 stars. PCGS graded Breen 12-K. Rarity-5+. MS-61. Well struck and untoned. Nice reflective surfaces. 3,609 monted for all 1797 $5 gold coins. Pop 1; the finest and the only Mint State example graded at PCGS. Vibrant even warm yellow gold with abundant reflectivity in the fields on either side, not just at the peripheries but throughout the fields. Extensive cartwheel luster and strong aesthetic appeal results, as might be expected. Scattered light abrasions in the field account for the grade as assigned, but none are serious; we note a couple of tiny rough spots by the curl opposite the 3rd star which can used as an identifier. Well detailed and very attractive. The reverse shows an array of fine die cracks that intersect the rim at 5:00, 7:00, and 10:00. Considering that there have been only a few chances to buy a Mint State specimen at public auction in the last few decades, and no examples except the present one have been offered in this grade or higher, the coin should be mighty tempting to the advanced collector or specialist in the half eagle series. Of course, one specimen is impounded in the Bass Foundation collection and two more are in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. In the end, the 1797 Small Eagle $5 stands as an key date in the series, with the opportunity to purchase one that is among the very finest known a milestone in collecting!

(Only four specimens of the 16 Star variety have been certified by NGC in all grades, and three additional specimens have been graded of the date without attribution. PCGS has this single specimen in Mint State. Serial #05054690.) (PCGS # 8068) .
Estimated Value $225,000 - 250,000.

Realized $299,000

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