1798 Large Eagle $5.00 NGC AU50

BD-4, High Rarity-4. Large 8 in date; 13 reverse stars. The Large Eagle half eagles of 1798 are numismatically fascinating with no less than seven different die varieties known. BD-4 is among the more available and it is recognizable "across the room" on account of the numerous huge reverse cuds at 12:00 and 1:00. As a date, the 1798 is desirable as an 18th century issue and it is one of just two half eagles from this decade (along with the 1799) that is within reach of most collectors. This pleasing example has deep sunset orange-gold and red hues on the obverse; the reverse has similar but slightly lighter color. As is typical for this variety, the centers are lightly struck which makes this variety somewhat difficult to grade. This example has a considerable amount of luster and enough wear to suggest an AU53 to AU55 grade but some small abrasions at the central obverse and upper reverse keep the grade at AU50. While Dannreuther estimates that as many as 100 are known (and I agree with him), affordable mid-grade examples of the 1798 BD-4 half eagle tend to only come on the market at the rate of two or three per year. This is among the few I've seen in ages with original color and it would make a great addition to an early gold collection.