1833 Large Date $5.00 PCGS MS63 CAC, Old Green Holder
Condition Census; BD-1, High R-5. Wide Large Date, variety not designated by PCGS.
There are three die varieties known for this issue with two distinct types: the Small Date and the Large Date. Both were extensively melted and are rare with the Large Date being slightly more available. It is estimated that three dozen or so are known with most in the AU55 to MS61 range. There are possibly as five or six in the MS62 to MS63 range, and another three or so in MS64 with the finest being the PCGS MS64+ Pogue coin which I sold to a Midwestern collector earlier in the year.
This remarkable coin is housed in an old green label holder, and in my strong opinion it grades at least a full MS64 if not MS64+. It is very frosty with completely natural surfaces which show pleasing rich golden color. A few tiny ticks in the fields can be seen with light magnification but the appearance of this coin is fantastic.
I sold this coin to an Eastern collector well over a decade ago and as far as I know it has never appeared at auction. I struggled with the idea of regrading it at PCGS where I felt it would easily upgrade, but I love the current appearance in the small, old holder.
No MS63 1833 Large Date half eagle has ever appeared at auction. A nice PCGS MS64 realized $115,000 back in April 2006 (as Heritage 4/06: 2635) while the aforementioned Pogue IV: 4045 brought $129,250.
This coin is important both as a type example and for collectors who have taken on the challenge of assembling a set of Fat Head half eagles.
For the variety, CAC has approved two 1833 Large Date half eagles in MS63 with none finer. They have also approved one MS63 and one MS64 1833 Small Date.
1854 Large Date $20.00 PCGS MS62
The 1854 Large Date makes a compelling argument for being named the single scarcest Type One Liberty Head double eagle from the Philadelphia mint, eclipsing the 1862 and the 1859. There are an estimated 150 known and this includes a few dozen found in Europe during the last two decades. This issue is very scarce in the higher AU grades, and it is very rare in Uncirculated with around five or six known.
I purchased this coin directly out of the Pittman sale in October 1997 where I paid $10,450. I sold it to a Rhode Island collector and recently bought it back after 21 years. I crossed it from NGC to PCGS and tried it a number of times to grade MS62+. Pittman had obtained it in the late 1940’s, meaning it has had just four owners in over 75 years!
This coin has an amazing look for the issue and I have seen only one other 1854 Large Date which wasn’t heavily abraded. It is very satiny and well-struck with clean surfaces which show just a few wispy hairlines across the obverse. There are a few reeding marks on Liberty’s face which were caused when another coin came into contact with this one. The reverse is nearly of Gem quality and the overall naked-eye appearance is totally spectacular.
As far as I know, this is the second finest known 1854 Large Date double eagle, trailing only the PCGS/CAC MS64 in the Hansen Collection which was purchased by Dr. William Crawford for $96,600 (as an NGC MS64) at auction in September 2008. PCGS has only graded 3 Uncirculated pieces: an MS61, this MS62, and the aforementioned MS64, while NGC has inflated totals of 2 in MS60, 6 in MS61, and 1 in MS62 for a total of 9.
An MS62 example of this variety has never sold at auction. There are five records for MS61’s (all NGC) with the highest of these occurring in 2014 for $41,125; the two most recent are for $31,200 (2018) and $35,250 (2017).
This is likely the second finest known 1854 Large Date double eagle, and if you are serious about Liberty Head double eagles, I don’t have to tell you how important this coin is.
1895 $10.00 PCGS PR64DCAM CAC
For most Proof gold collectors, the purchase of a double eagle is not likely due to price prohibitions, leaving the Liberty Head eagle the best candidate for a large-sized coin for their Proof holdings.
The 1895 is not as common a date in the Proof Liberty eagle series as one might think. Only 56 struck were struck and the survival rate is around 50% - meaning that two dozen or so are known. These are mostly in the PR63 to PR65 range and not often with full Deep Cameo contrast.
This lovely borderline Gem shows the exceptional black and white appearance that one hopes to see on a Proof gold coin certified as Deep Cameo. The Mint was at the top of its game when it came to producing Proof gold during the mid-1890’s and this piece has thick, unbroken frost on the devices which is nicely contrasted by watery, reflective fields. When this coin is tilted towards a light source and examined with 5x magnification, it is possible to see a few wispy hairlines but there are no marks of note or mint-caused flaws.
PCGS has graded three 1895 eagles in PR64DCAM with two in PR65, one in PR65+, and two in PR66. CAC has approved four examples of this date in DCAM: two in PR64 and two in PR66. I believe that all of these figures are slightly inflated by resubmissions.
No PCGS PR64 DCAM and have sold at auction. An NGC PR65 Ultra Cameo realized $44,650 in the 2017 ANA auction; it wasn’t approved by CAC.
1826 $5.00 PCGS AU58+
The 1826 is one of the great “melt rarity” issues among the Capped Bust Large Planchet half eagle type. There are fewer than 50 known and this date is most similar to the 1827 in terms of its overall rarity. This date saw little circulation and most of the survivors are Uncirculated coins priced in the low-to-mid six figures and thus out of reach but for a handful of wealthy collectors.
This fresh-to-the-market example represented probably the nicest “affordable” 1826 half eagle which exists. The obverse is, in my opinion, fully Uncirculated and it grades a full MS61 if not finer. The reverse is a trifle less choice with signs of wear in the fields and a few hairlines above and below the head of the eagle. Both sides are very frosty and show pleasing natural green-gold hues which deepen to rich reddish-orange towards the borders. The strike is typical for the issue with flatness at the curls below and above Liberty’s ear; these shouldn’t be confused with wear.
There are just three auction records for this date in circulated grades going back to 1991. The most recent comparable is a PCGS AU55 which sold for $32,900 in the Stacks Bowers March 2017 auction. An NGC MS61 with limited eye appeal brought $47,000 in Heritage’s April 2014 sale.
The PCGS Price Guide for this issue in AU58+ suggests a value of $47,500. The PCGS population is four in AU58 (with just this one coin in 58+) with eight finer.
This made a fantastic addition to a type set which values rarity over condition.
1873 Closed 3 $3.00 PCGS MS62
The 1873 Closed 3 is the key issue among business strike Three Dollar gold pieces from Philadelphia. An unknown number (likely fewer than 500) were made and around 100 are known, mostly in lightly circulated grades. In MS62 and higher, this date is very rare with the finest offered in recent years being the Pogue III: 3115 coin, graded MS64, which brought $51,700.
This example, which is formidably pedigreed to the collections of Bob Simpson and Dell Loy Hansen, is a Condition Census piece with just four graded finer by PCGS. The coin is almost fully prooflike but it is an obvious business strike as evidenced by the non-square edges and the weakness of strike on the curls below IB in LIBERTY. The surfaces are far less “busy” than on others seen in this grade. Both sides show rich orange-gold color and the overall eye appeal is decidedly above-average for the date and grade.
The most recent APR for this date in PCGS MS62 (and the only record since March 2005) is $31,725 for Legend 5/16: 400 which doesn’t appear to be this coin. In August 2017, an NGC MS62PL sold for $28,200 in the Heritage ANA auction.
PCGS has a population of just one coin in MS62 with four higher (two each in MS63 and MS64). The PCGS Price Guide shows a suggested value of $36,000 for this date/variety in MS62.
A Condition Census example of a truly rare coin with a wonderful pedigree to boot.
Ex DLRC 4/18 sale at $28,055; from the D.L. Hansen and Bob Simpson collections.
1804 Small 8 $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC
BD-1, High R-4.
In American numismatics, the date 1804 is magical and quarter eagles, half eagles, and eagles with this date were produced. The 1804 half eagle is the most available of these three and it can be found in the higher AU and lower Uncirculated grades but seldom with natural color and choice surfaces.
This example came from a small antique auction in New England, along with some other coins, and was consigned from an old estate. The color is deep and extremely attractive with rich green-gold hues covering unmolested, frosty surfaces. The strike is sharp and this is a reasonably early die state of this die variety with a thin crack from the rim at 6:00 up through the 0 in the date and into the hair. This is one of the nicest AU55 examples of the Heraldic Eagle type I ever offered for sale.
Two CAC approved PCGS AU55 1804 Small 8 half eagles were sold at auction in the last two years and these brought $13,513 in January 2017 and $14,625 in June 2016. This coin is far, far nicer.
PCGS has graded 38 in AU55 with 100 finer while CAC has approved just five in this grade with 28 finer.
1884 $5.00 PCGS PR64DCAM CAC
Every series has its share of overlooked/undervalued issues; even something which is as categorically rare as With Motto Proof Liberty Head half eagles. Despite a reasonably generous mintage of 48 coins, the 1884 is an underrated rarity which is actually on a par with such pricier and more highly regarded Proofs such as the 1872, 1874, 1877 and 1879. I have seen estimates that as many as 25-30 Proof 1884 half eagles exist but this number seems very high considering that just three different pieces have sold at auction since 2000. I believe that the actual number is more likely somewhere on order of 10-12.
This is a very choice, undipped piece which would grade PR65DCAM (or higher) were it not for a shallow scrape in the left obverse field that is the result of clumsy handling (not me!!) It is housed in an older PCGS holder and the eye appeal is excellent with strong contrast between the devices and the fields.
No PR64 1884 half eagle with any sort of designation has sold at auction since August 1999 when the Childs coin brought $32,900. I bought the Trompeter/Garrett coin, graded PR65 Ultra Cameo by NGC and approved by CAC, for $49,350 in the Heritage 2015 ANA sale. The finest known, graded PR66 Ultra Cameo, sold for a rousing $90,000 in January 2018.
As I researched this coin, I learned not only how rare it was but it also has a very special pedigree (see below).
PCGS has graded two Proof 1884 half eagles in Proof 64 (plus a PR64+ which is likely an upgrade of one of these two coins) with two finer. CAC has approved two with one finer.
Ex Eliasberg (10/82): 563 at $8,250; earlier from the Clapp collection.
1856-O $2.50 NGC MS62 CAC
The 1856-O quarter eagle is among the most overlooked gold issues from the New Orleans mint. I rank it as the fourth rarest of 14 quarter eagles from this facility but it is the second rarest issue in higher grades, trailing only the 1845-O. To the best of my knowledge, there are just four to six Uncirculated 1856-O quarter eagles known with the finest of these grading MS62. A listing of the finest known to me is as follows:
-PCGS MS62CAC: Heritage 1/17: 5812 ($35,250), ex Heritage 7/12: 4722 ($43,125).
-The coin offered here. NGC MS62CAC: Douglas Winter Numismatics, 12/17.
-PCGS MS62: New England collection via Douglas Winter Numismatics, ex Bowers and Merena 6/01: 1210 ($19,550), Heritage 4/01: 3407 ($10,000).
As of the end of 2017, PCGS had graded 3 in Uncirculated while NGC had graded 14 (this figure is severely inflated in MS60 and MS61 due to resubmissions). PCGS had graded 2 in MS62 and NGC showed 3 in this grade; neither service had graded a coin finer.
This newly-graded coin was fresh to the market and it had not been offered to collectors for well over a decade. It is one of the most cosmetically appealing examples of this date which I have seen and it shows exceptional frosty mint luster below natural medium russet and lime hues. This is an issue which is seldom seen with natural surfaces (even in grades down to AU55) and this wonderful example has a really exceptional appearance for the date.
1820 Square Base 2 $5.00 PCGS MS63 CAC
Superbly toned; BD-3, R-5.
There are no less than nine die varieties for this year and these are neatly divided into three major types, as follows:
-Square Base 2, Large Letters (BD-1, BD-2, BD-3, BD-4). Scarce.
-Rare. Curved Base 2, Large Letters (BD-5, BD-7, BD-9).
-Very rare. Curved Base 2, Small Letters (BD-6, BD-8).
Viewed as a date the 1820 is rare, but in the Capped Bust Large Planchet half eagle series it takes a back seat to a long run of major rarities. It is comparable in overall rarity to the 1814/3 and the 1823 and it is harder to find than the 1813 and the 1818.
The 1820 Square Base 2 is the most available of the three types of half eagles made during this year. There are around 100 known with maybe half of these grading in the AU55 to MS62 range. This variety becomes rare in MS63 to MS64, and the single finest known is graded MS65+ by PCGS.
This piece is immediately notable for its dramatic rich natural fiery orange-gold color which gives both sides a warm glow which can best be appreciated when the surfaces enter a light source. This coin has never been dipped or processed and its surfaces are extremely frosty. I believe this coin should have been graded MS63+ on account of its superior eye appeal and was disappointed that PCGS didn’t agree with me. There are a few scuffs seen in the obverse fields; the reverse is a full MS65 on its own.
Goldberg 1/14: 1776, graded MS63 by PCGS and approved by CAC, sold for a very strong $49,350 and it was comparable in quality and appearance to the present example. Stacks Bowers 3/17: 2328, graded MS63+ by PCGS and approved by CAC, sold for $56,400.
This would make a perfect type coin for the collector seeking a single “Fat Head” half eagle for an advanced early gold type set. It is among the most aesthetically appealing early half eagles which I have had the pleasure of offering.
CAC has approved five in this grade with seven finer.
1807 Bust Left $5.00 PCGS MS64 CAC
The 1807 Bust Left is numismatically significant as it is a transitional issue and it is the first Capped Bust Left half eagle produced; this type would continue through 1812. As a date, the 1807 Bust Left is comparatively common and it is seen even in the lower Uncirculated grades with some regularity. It is rare in properly graded MS63 to MS64 and very rare in Gem. The two finest known were in the Pogue collection and were graded MS67 and MS67+; they sold for $199,750 and $282,000, respectively.
This coin was off the market for more than a decade. I re-submitted it to PCGS in the hope of it grading MS64+ and I still think it is better than your typical run-of-the-mill MS64. It has never been dipped or processed and it is notable for its luster; if ever an early five could be called a "luster bomb" it's this coin! The strike is exceptionally bold with the fine hair and feather detail up and bold and the only marks visible with light magnification are a few minor scuffs in the left obverse field.
The most recent APR for a PCGS/CAC MS64 1807 Bust Left half eagle is Goldberg 6/16: 1438 which realized $45,825. In the 2014 FUN auction, Heritage sold a non-CAC PCGS MS64+ for a very strong $64,625.
CAC has approved six in this grade with just one finer (MS65).
1854-D $3.00 PCGS AU55 CAC
The 1854-D Three Dollar gold piece is an iconic issue whose popularity and numismatic significance transcends nearly any coin from the Dahlonega mint. It is the only Three Dollar gold piece from this facility, and a scant 1,120 were made of which an estimated 125 or so exist; this figure includes numerous pieces which are damaged or which, while gradable, are severely lacking in cosmetic appeal.
I believe that no other dealer has handled as many different 1854-D Threes as I have, and this includes many coins in the higher AU grades. This example compares favorably to any 1854-D I have seen in the last few years and it is well-made and lustrous with splashes of medium orange-gold color seen at the upper obverse and the central reverse. The strike is better than average for the issue with a bit more than half of the obverse denticles clear and a very strong reverse. The surfaces are very clean with no significant marks. This is an early die state with the familiar clashmark at the throat barely visible and only minor clashes seen at the central reverse.
Since the summer of 2012, only two PCGS AU55 1854-D Three Dollar gold pieces have been offered at auction. Recently, a non-CAC piece realized $48,175 as Goldberg 9/17: 1130. In the January 2013 FUN sale, a CAC piece with splotchy color sold for $47,000 as Lot 5829 in the Heritage sale. Records of over $40,000 exist for slabbed AU55 1854-D Threes as far back as October 2006.
Owning an 1854-D Three Dollar gold piece is a dream for many collectors and, in my opinion, the best value grade for this issue is AU55 to AU58.
CAC has approved six in this grade with five finer.
1839/8 Type of 1838 $10.00 PCGS MS61
Rare and Important.
In 1839, there were two distinct types of Liberty Head $10 made: the Type of 1838 which features large letters on the reverse and the Type of 1840 with small letters. The former is by far the more available and its occasional availability in Uncirculated (there are around 10 or so known) makes it very popular with type collectors.
This piece is fresh to the market and it represents a truly “new” coin unlike other MS61’s of this type which display clear evidence of wear. It is boldly detailed save for stars six through nine which (as usual) are weak at the radials. The surfaces are very clean and frosty with pleasing natural yellow-gold color which changes to green in the fields.
The last PCGS MS61 1839 Type of 1838 $10 to sell at auction brought $25,300 all the way back in October 2010. A very low-end NGC MS61 realized $23,500 as Goldberg 9/17: 1228.
High-grade examples of this coveted two-year type are almost never offered for sale and the last example graded higher than MS61 by PCGS (an MS63) was last offered at auction in 1999. An extremely important early date Liberty Head eagle!
1799 Small Stars Obverse $10.00 PCGS AU50 CAC
BD-2, High R-5.
The 1799 is the most available date of this type but it is always more highly sought-after than the 1800, 1801 and 1803 as a type coin due to its status as an 18th century issue. There are nine different die varieties of which only one doesn’t show small-sized stars on the obverse. BD-2 is a somewhat scarcer variety with an estimated 35-45 thought to exist.
The advent of CAC has clearly shown that Heraldic Eagle ten dollar gold pieces are extremely difficult to locate with choice surfaces and nice original coloration. As a date, PCGS and NGC have combined to grade 80 1799 eagles in AU50 (65 by PCGS and 15 by NGC) yet the present example is the single example in this grade approved by CAC. Even factoring in for resubmissions, this is a tiny percentage and the relatively similar numbers are seen with coins graded AU53 and AU55.
This coin has been off the market for many years and it comes from a specialist’s collection. It is very boldly detailed on a high quality planchet and this is despite the fact that there is a noticeable obverse die crack from the rim outside of the L in LIBERTY down into the cap. Both sides show attractive rich natural coppery-orange color which deepens at the borders. There is a small circular toning spot in the middle of the left obverse field and a larger splash of color on PLUR in the motto on the reverse. The surfaces are uncommonly clean with no detracting marks and this is about as pleasing a coin for the grade as you are likely to locate.
The only comparable 1799 Small Stars Obverse $10 to sell at auction in recent years was Heritage 2017 ANA: 4153 which wasn’t approved by CAC yet still realized $21,150. No CAC approved PCGS AU50 1799 Large Stars $10 has sold at auction and the last two pieces to cross the block brought $14,688 in June 2016 and $17,625 in January 2016.
The demand for PCGS/CAC 1799 eagles in AU grades is extremely high and this is the first relatively affordable example I have been able to offer in a number of years.
1873-CC $20.00 PCGS MS60
The 1873-CC double eagle compares favorably to the 1872-CC in terms of overall rarity. In Uncirculated, the 1872-CC is slightly rarer. My best estimate is that there are around a dozen properly graded Uncirculated 1873-CC double eagles with nearly all in the MS60 to MS61 range. The finest is a single PCGS MS63 which has been off the market for a decade.
I purchased this coin in a very old NGC MS60 holder and spent months (and a ton in grading fees!) trying to get it into an MS61 holder. I still believe this coin is a full MS61 and I base this on having owned a number of other 1873-CC double eagles graded MS60 and MS61 by PCGS.
This coin has great overall eye appeal with blazing mint luster seen on both the obverse and the reverse. This date is usually dull and the majority of the higher grade pieces known have been repatriated from overseas where they were dulled by long-term vault storage. Both sides are light rose at the centers and are contrasted by vibrant natural golden-orange hues towards the borders. For the grade, the surfaces are less abraded than one would expect, with the majority of the marks concentrated in the lower left obverse field. Two light copper spots at the base of Liberty’s neck serve as quick identification.
There has not been a PCGS MS60 1873-CC double eagle which has sold at auction since all the way back in April 1999, while the last NGC MS60 sold at auction in June 2004. The most recent APR for a PCGS MS61 is Heritage 2/14: 5420 which sold for $61,717, but had a number of detracting mint-made black grease spots on the obverse.
If you are assembling a world-class set of Carson City double eagles, it is likely that the 1873-CC represents a hole which you would like to fill with a nice Uncirculated coin. Given the rarity of this issue in Mint State (they seem to come available—in PCGS holders—around once or twice every decade or so) the opportunity which this nice, fresh example represents is likely to cause a commotion.
1906 $20.00 PCGS PR63+ CAC
In 1906, the mintage of Proof Liberty Head double eagles was 94. The survival rate is higher for this issue than for the 1899 (see above) with slightly more than half known, mostly in the PR63 to P65 range. This issue was made in an “all brilliant” finish which means that the contrast seen on dates like the 1899 are not found on the 1906.
This piece has very pleasing dusky russet toning; no doubt from years of storage in the old coin envelope which it resided in (see below). This color covers some old hairlines-mostly on the obverse—and it is somewhat more intense on the obverse than on the reverse. A small copper spot on the lower reverse is mint-made and it helps to quickly identify the coin. I can’t recall having seen a Proof $20 Liberty Head double eagle in this grade range with more distinctive overall eye appeal than this.
This is the only example of this date ever graded PR63+ by either service. The last 1906 double eagle graded PR63 to sell at auction was all the way back in 2004. The most relevant APR is Heritage 2017 ANA: 4219, graded PR64 by NGC/CAC, which brought $42,300.
CAC has approved two non-cameo 1906 double eagles in PR63/63+ with three finer.
This coin is accompanied by an old coin envelope that states it was purchased in 1954 as a “Perfect Brill. Proof” at $300.
1843-O Large Letters $5.00 PCGS MS63+ CAC
With the exception of the 1844-O, every single No Motto half eagle from New Orleans is very rare (or unknown) in MS63 and higher. PCGS has graded just seven different non-1844-O half eagles in MS63 or MS63+ as well as two in MS64 and a single coin (an 1843-O Small Letters) in MS65. Virtually all of these are off the market in important specialized collections.
Viewed as a date, the 1843-O Large Letters is a median rarity in the No Motto New Orleans subset. It is rare in higher grades with around a dozen extant in Uncirculated; mostly in the MS61 to MS63 range. I have handled just one finer than this superb, fresh-to-the-market example; a PCGS/CAC MS64 from the same source as this with similar scintillating color. I sold that piece to a collector for $32,500.
Speaking of color, the hues on this coin are just breathtaking with bright yellow-gold centers framed by splashes of intense crimson and burnt-orange towards the edges. There are probably just a few too many obverse ticks in the left field to call this a 64 but PCGS was right to give this a “plus” grade on account of its great eye appeal. If this were a common date Morgan dollar, it would command a huge premium due to its color.
A quick tangent: when are gold coins with spectacular natural color going to be treated like silver coins with great color? Certain series like silver commemoratives and Morgans already have toning enthusiasts who will gladly pay gigantic premiums for color. Gold coins with superb natural color are far rarer than their silver counterparts yet the premium accorded to such pieces is minimal in comparison.
This is the only 1843-O Large Letters half eagle to grade MS63 or MS63+ at PCGS with one finer (an MS64). CAC has approved one in MS63/63+ with four finer (all MS64). The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $31,000 in MS63+.
Here is a coin which will be of great interest to New Orleans gold coin specialists but which would make an ideal high grade No Motto Liberty Head half eagle.
1797 Large Eagle $10.00 PCGS MS61 CAC
BD-4, High R-4.
1797 is a transitional year for the ten dollar denomination as there are two distinct types: the rare Small Eagle (3,615 or fewer struck) and the more available Large Eagle (10,940 struck).
The 1797 Large Eagle ten dollar gold piece is very popular as a first-year of issue. It is one of just three years prior to the 19th century in which this new design was made; the 1798 eagles are very rare while the 1799 is rather common.
There are a few dozen Uncirculated 1797 Large Eagle tens known with most in the MS60 to MS62 range. However, most seen are “rubby” and probably could just as well have been graded AU58. In grades above MS62, this issue is nearly impossible to locate and I have never seen one finer than MS63.
The present example is fresh-to-the-market. It is well-struck and fully lustrous with absolutely no friction on the high spots or luster breaks in the field. And, this piece is not “washed out” from having been overdipped as are many examples of this design. The color is a vibrant yellow-gold with a splash of russet at 12:00 on the obverse. Examination with a 5x glass shows some scuffs consistent with the grade but none of the often-seen adjustment marks.
Only one PCGS MS61 example of this date/variety has sold at auction since 2010 and it was a low-end non-CAC piece which brought $42,888 as Heritage 10/15: 3543. In the Stack’s Bowers 11/15 auction, the ex: Newman NGC MS61 realized $47,000 and while cosmetically appealing, some observers felt it was enthusiastically graded.
This is an important early date Eagle and it represents a rare opportunity for the advanced collector to own a visually impressive 18th century ten dollar gold piece at a realistic price point.
CAC has approved two in this grade with four finer.
1799 Large Stars $5.00 PCGS AU53 CAC
BD-5, High R-5.
The reported mintage figure of 7,451 half eagles dated 1799 is incorrect and the likely number coined is in the 10,000-15,000 range. As a date, the 1799 is scarcer than the 1798 and it is in great demand due to its 18th century issuance. There are nine die varieties divided into two important types: the Small Reverse Stars and the considerably more elusive Large Reverse Stars. The Large Reverse Stars consists of just two die varieties (BD-5 and BD-8) both of which are in the High R-5/R-6 range.
Based on frequency of appearance at auction, the 1799 Large Reverse Stars is two to three times rarer than its Small Reverse Stars counterpart. Only three specimens have appeared at auction since the summer of 2014 including the PCGS MS63+ Pogue II: 2080 which realized $88,125.This is an exceptional example of this issue with very attractive fiery orange-gold color which is just a bit more intense on the obverse than on the reverse. The strike is mostly sharp with just a touch of weakness at the centers and this is an early die state with no clashes or cracks. To my eyes, this coin has the body and appearance of an AU55 (or finer) and it is very choice with just a few light old lines in the obverse fields which are likely the result of cabinet friction.
No CAC approved AU53 1799 Large Reverse Stars half eagle from either service has appeared at auction and the only PCGS AU53 to sell brought $19,388 as Stack’s Bowers 3/14: 4083. An NGC AU53 realized $22,325 as Heritage 2012 ANA: 5344.
This exceptional piece should appeal to the date collector and the type collector who wants to own an impressive 18th century half eagle.
This is the only AU53 approved by CAC; five higher graded coins have been approved as well for a total of six for the variety.