Early gold tended not to circulate extensively and, as a result, it is very hard to find coins like Bust Right half eagles in grades below EF45. This piece shows a decent amount of wear but it is surprisingly original and free of problems. In fact, the detail is suggestive of an EF40 to EF45 coin but it appears that NGC deducted some points on the grading scale due to some old marks clustered in the obverse fields. Both sides are well-detailed and show nice old green-gold color which is contrasted by flashes of reddish-gold and sunset orange. I doubt that are many more early half eagles in this grade range that are pleasing enough to merit a CAC sticker and this is essentially the best available quality in today market at less than $7,500. If you have been looking for a coin of this sort, I'd urge you to give me a call ASAP as it could be some time before I find another!
BD-1. High R-4. Centered overdate variety. This is clearly an above-average example for the grade with nice green-gold color which is accentuated by some flashes of medium orange-gold and reddish hues at the obverse border and across much of the reverse. There is some light friction on the obverse but not much in the way of actual wear; the reverse on its own grades a full AU58 and is very choice. This piece is well struck and well made with nice balance and choice surfaces. This issue has always been a favorite with collectors as it has such a bold, clear overdate. A welcome exception to the rule that early gold in this price range is never original and attractive.
BD-3. R-5. This variety is easily identifiable by the presence of noticeable repunching on star one on the reverse. This piece was recently purchased "over the counter" by one of my suppliers on the East Coast and from its appearance, I have to guess that it is a coin that was either in an old-time collection or accumulation for many, many years. It has an especially original appearance with even, dark rich green-gold color that is accentuated by some pale coppery hues around the devices. There is a good deal of dirt in the protected areas and this is always an unusual (and welcome) occurance on an early gold coin, especially one that is nearly 210 years old. The strike is typically weak at the very center of the obverse and reverse while the borders are sharp. Under magnification, there are some very light vertical obverse adjustment marks through the portrait and a few light, old marks in the fields. In the just-concluded Stack's Bowers November sale, another NGC AU53 example of this date (with a CAC sticker) sold for $18,400. A wonderful Draped Bust, Stars Obverse quarter eagle for the type collector.