Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 60

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Lot 2851

1811 $5 Capped Draped Bust. . BD-2, Breen-6464, Small 5. NGC graded MS-65. Well struck and glistening with mint luster throughout; all untoned. This extraordinary Capped Draped Bust year of Type and $5 denomination features shimmering light-gold satin-like to frosty mint bloom complemented by a highly assertive strike. Not even a hint of toning completes the allure of this radiant jewel. In light of the near-absence of examples of this issue that bear a higher numerical grade from any of the major grading services (only 1 higher reported by NGC), it goes without saying that the specimen offered here is easily among the finest known. If ever a side-by-side comparison with any/all of the small number of true Gem BU examples of this important early issue was ever possible, then it could conceivably be determined exactly where this coin stands within the condition census.

Note: the same small 5 punch used in 1810 was used for this reverse, but this is a different die, explains Dannreuther in his seminal work on America's early gold varieties. Both varieties of 1811 are scarce. "Auction data indicate this variety appears only 25 to 50 percent more often than the previous one [Tall 5]." The NGC census is as follows: Pop 4; 1 finer in 66 .

Historic reference: In the winter of 1811-12, the central Mississippi Valley was struck by three of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history. Even today, this region has more earthquakes than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.The 400 terrified residents in the town of New Madrid (Missouri) were abruptly awakened by violent shaking and a tremendous roar. It was December 16, 1811, and a powerful earthquake had just struck. This was the first of three magnitude-8 earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks to rock the region that winter. Survivors reported that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. The crew of the New Orleans (the first steamboat on the Mississippi, which was on her maiden voyage) reported mooring to an island only to awake in the morning and find that the island had disappeared below the waters of the Mississippi River. Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.
Estimated Value $65,000 - 70,000.


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