Small Reverse Stars. BD-2, High Rarity-5. Dannreuther estimates that only 35-435 examples are known of this variety; Bass owned just one which was not as nice as this example. There were a good number of early half eagles available at the ANA show but this was one of my very favorites; at least from the standpoint of its 18th century issuance. This coin is as fresh as you can imagine with vibrant frosty luster and lovely natural yellow-gold color. It is extremely well struck for both the date and variety with great eye appeal. The surfaces show just a few light marks and, interestingly, the obverse is actually choicer than the reverse with the look of an MS63. As a date, the 1799 is scarcer than the 1798 and it is actually less available (albeit less popular) than the higher-priced 1795. The last PCGS MS62 1799 Small Stars half eagle to appear at auction was B+M 11/09: 3667 which sold for $43,700. In my opinion, this example is choicer and much more "crisp" in appearance. Here's an interesting point to consider. A nice PCGS MS62 1795 Small Eagle half eagle is worth around $100,000 in today's market. PCGS has graded twenty two examples in this grade with fifteen better. A 1799 Small Stars has a population of eleven in this grade with ten better but it is priced at less than half the amount of the 1795. Clearly the 1795 should be worth more but twice as much? A great early half eagle.