Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 65

Lot 5131

1802 B-5, BB-242 Wide Date Rarity 5. PCGS graded AU-58. Subset of PCGS # 40087. In a new secure plus holder. Condition Census. Peripheral russet and gray toning lessens to natural dove grade in the field on both sides. At the moment when luster is a key determinant of the grade of a high-class AU58 like this, it goes without saying the devices should also be struck boldly by the dies. And here, the coin is bold throughout. No compromises here. The coin, whose photos show only half the beauty of the piece, is truly one in a million that collectors will esteem to buy if at all possible.

With an estimated population of only 31 to 75 specimens, 1802 BB-242 is at once the rarest (by far) non-overdated 1802, and the second rarest (after 1802/1 BB-235) variety of the year. In 1881, this was the only variety of 1802 that Haseltine designated as rare.

Normal date. Base of T in LIBERTY perfect. These two characteristics, used together, are diagnostic for the variety. On this reverse (used again and again in different die marriages, see below, the point of the leftmost arrowhead is under the center of the left upright of the N in UNITED. There is a "spur" on the curved part of D. Leaf points under center of I in AMERICA. Point of a star touches the outside of upper part of eagle's beak slightly above beak's point. This long-lived die was mated with obverses dated 1801, 1802, and 1803. Letters T in UNITED and STATES have lower right serif partially broken. Apparently, this die was made immediately before the die used to coin the reverse of 1801 BB-213, which has the lower right serif completely missing. Die progression evidence indicates that 1801 BB-214 was struck no earlier than 1802.

Reverse die used to strike 1801 BB-214 (typically with crack from border toward cloud 6); 1802/1 BB 233 (perfect; first use of the die), BB-234 (die relapped, cloud 6 mostly missing, some arrowheads disconnected; some with clash mark from cloud 5 to border above O), and BB-235; 1802 BB-242 (spur on D from now on); 1803 BB-251 (relapped, struck before BB-252) and BB-252 (relapped, struck after BB-251). Pop 1; none finer at PCGS for the variety. The Finest Known (PCGS # 40089) .
Estimated Value $25,000-UP.
Ex: Warren Miller Collection (sold privately to the Cardinal Collection); Ex: Cardinal Collection; The Dr. Hesselgesser Collection.

Realized $18,975

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