Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 5

Lot 1301

1807 $5 Capped Draped Bust. Sharpness of Fine-12 but cleaned. An extremely rare die variety that was not listed in Breen's 1966 monograph on the series. The only offerings we know of are the recent MS 61 coin offered in the amazing Harry Bass sale by Bowers & Merena and two others they note in that catalog. Struck from the same obverse die as the Breen-4D variety, the reverse is quickly distinguishable by the D of UNITED being closer to the wing, and with the lower feather tip of the arrow above the left side of the 5 rather than over the right tip of the flag of the 5. This reverse die broke early, with a crack from the rim through the upright of the E of STATES, through the scroll, eagle's head right of his eye, down into the shield to the second group of vertical stripes from the left. On this coin, another crack has appeared just past the second S in STATES, from the rim to the motto below. Robert Miller in his book on varieties of half eagles noted that just two were known to him. Bowers estimated that perhaps 12-15 were known, based only on his experience of selling 3 of this variety over the past two decades or so. Whatever the true number, this is a much later die state than the Bass coin or the example offered in the Bowers sale of May 1998, lot 1307 as EF 40.
The surfaces have been cleaned, but this is not unusual for a coin of this type or period. Struck from clashed dies, both obverse and reverse, and identifiable by a small pit like dent in the field just before Liberty's eye. The rims show one very minor mark that has been filed off above fifth star on the obverse. Certainly one that should go to a variety specialist, as this is probably one of the last struck with this broken reverse die.


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