SOLD – $5.00 – 1798 Large 8, 13 Stars, PCGS MS62 CAC

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SOLD – $5.00 – 1798 Large 8, 13 Stars, PCGS MS62 CAC


Serial Number 8078.62/50063153

PCGS Lookup Number 8078

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BD-4, High R-4. Late reverse die state with rim cuds at 12:00 and 1:00.

1798 Heraldic Reverse half eagles are found with a Small 8 and a Large 8 in the date; the latter comes with 13 and 14 stars on the reverse. The Large 8, 13 stars has a surviving population which has been estimated at 125-150 coins with most in the EF45 to AU55 range. Uncirculated pieces are quite scarce with perhaps 12-15 accounted for. In properly graded MS62, this issue is very rare. The single best I am aware of is the weakly struck NGC MS64 which sold for $155,250 in a 2011 Heritage auction; the Bass/ANA Museum coin would likely grade at least MS64 if it were encapsulated.

This is a truly exceptional coin which rates as the single best 1798 half eagle that I have offered for sale. It is extremely well detailed for this variety with just a bit of softness at the centers and far fewer adjustment marks than usual. The surfaces are frosty and show natural yellow-gold color with some greenish-gold highlights. Unlike nearly every known 1798 half eagle, this piece has not been cleaned or dipped and its eye appeal is significantly above average for the grade.

The only PCGS/CAC MS62 example of this variety to sell at auction brought $51,750 as Heritage 8/11: 7506. That coin was pleasing but, in my opinion, it was not nearly as choice and cosmetic as the current piece.

This is the sort of early half eagle which is usually offered at major auctions of when great collections of early gold are dispersed. It represents a rare opportunity for the early half eagle collector to own a solid Condition Census 18th century half eagle and it is the finest 1798 of any variety to become available in the last few years.

CAC has approved four in this grade with two finer.