Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

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Lot 2842

1795. $5 Capped Bust Small Eagle. PCGS graded MS-62. A needle sharp strike on a clean adjustment free planchet save for a vertical mark from Liberty's ear to her bust. Lovely rose color and delicate golden hues cover the surfaces on both sides. The surfaces shimmer with mint brilliance topped by rich color as noted. Only 8,707 struck for this first year of issue. Very choice for a first-year example as well as for the grade. Resplendent hair detail is thoroughly frosted with keen-edged waves and curls strengthening outward from the sharp cap and central lovelock curl. Taking stock of another key aspect of the grade, this piece has knife-edged devices in the letters and stars, the eagle on the reverse and all accompanying design such as the simple, yet artistic palm branch beneath the eagle. Only the center breast feathers lack full detail, but are still much clearer than the often diffused strike most often seen. This gives the coin an appreciable advantage over others in its class.

Though a small number of Mint State 1795 half eagles survive, most line up along the lower steps of the Mint State scale. The 1795 half eagle happens to be the first gold denomination issued by the U.S. Mint, with the first delivery occurring towards the end of July, 1795. According to the Bass-Dannreuther guide "There is no doubt that there are fewer than 1,000 Small Eagle 1795 half eagles still available to today's collectors -- combining all the 12 varieties! The high estimates of the known survivors of the 12 Small Eagle varieties added together are only slightly more than 600 specimens. Even if the estimates are off by twenty percent, only 750 or so of these spectacular early American coins are known."

On this die variety, the date is wide and star 11 joins Y of LIBERTY. The wreath has 4 berries, and the upper leaf in the palm branch ends at the foot of I in United. This is one of the more often seen 1795 varieties with possibly 200 examples extant. The previous use of this obverse was on BD-2. Pop 21; 13 finer (PCGS # 8066) .
Estimated Value $80,000 - 90,000.


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