Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 5

Lot 1289

1797 $5 Capped Bust. Small eagle, 15 stars. Sharpness of EF-40 lightly repaired on the eagle and cleaned. This coin has been carefully repaired on the eagle's lower breast, probably to smooth out a minor scratch. Above this area, several breast feathers are still visible, and all the wing feathers show separation. On the obverse, Liberty's curls are full and complete, with her tiny curls on her cheek also fully struck and showing very little wear. Boldly struck throughout, and an impressive coin for the grade. Cleaned at some point in the past as the surfaces now show a profusion of hairlines, all rather faint, but plainly visible with a glass. There is a curious area of roughness in the curls over Liberty's ear, possibly from circulation or some other minor handling problem.
As with all small eagle $5 coins, the mintage was very small, a total of 3,609 were struck for the year, most of these were the sixteen star obverse variety. Breen estimated that 1,162 were struck, but there are two varieties of 15 star obverses (Breen 10J and 11K) and this variety is the rarer. The last one of these offered was likely the Harry Bass coin in the fall of last year. One of the rarest varieties of the year, and this is an early die state struck before the obverse crack through the cap or the reverse crack through the I of UNITED forms. Identifiable by two small coppery areas on the obverse edge above RTY, and the minor repair work on the eagle. The rims appear normal, and for once, this one does not appear to have been mounted or worn as jewelry. An extremely rare coin that is a worthy acquisition despite its minor problems.

Realized $16,675

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