Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 54

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Lot 3357

1807 $5 Capped Draped Bust. Bust left BD-8, Rarity 2. NGC graded MS-62. A decent strike on a problem-free planchet and light golden in color. A lustrous and very presentable example of the first year of John Reich's capped bust to left design, a motif that was used only through 1812 before modification. The obverse has a truly needle-sharp strike with no areas of compromise. This includes all locks of hair, the star centers and radials, dentils, indeed, a virtual demarcation of this design, while the reverse is remarkable similar including full neck feathers, complete field stripes and horizontal bars, claws, arrow shafts, etc. The luster is satiny and beautiful, the color a warm light golden hue with subtle tints toning. All told this is one of the choicer MS62 half eagles of the date we have been fortunate to offer for sale. For the type set enthusiast it will certainly be a special occasion.

John Reich designed the issue of 1807-12. Of German stock and an early immigrant to America, Reich did contract work for the Mint in the 19th century, and by 1807 was signed as an assistant on the staff. He worked for a decade under Chief Engraver Robert Scot, creating new motifs including the capped bust coinage as here. This used to be called the "turban head," but is now better referred to as "classic draped bust" similar to the uncapped cents of 1808-14 (a motif he adopted on for the half cent of 1809).

Reich was a talented engraver who secretly "signed" his dies with a tiny nick in the outer point of the 13th stars (the final star on the right) on all half eagle dies while he was employed at the mint. After he left, the "signature" mysteriously disappears, never to return. Pop 58; 63 finer (PCGS # 8101) .
Estimated Value $8,000 - 8,500.


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