SOLD – $5.00 – 1798 Small 8 PCGS EF45

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SOLD – $5.00 – 1798 Small 8 PCGS EF45


Serial Number 8078.45/01601395

PCGS Lookup Number 8078

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BD-6, R-6. Small 8; Heraldic Eagle reverse.

The 1798 Small 8 half eagle is not widely known but it is a very scarce issue with fewer than 100 known. It is seen most often in the EF40 to AU50 range and is characterized by irregular strikes and poor eye appeal. It is rare in AU50, very rare in AU55 to AU58 and quite possibly unique in Uncirculated with the only example I know of being the NGC MS63 which was sold in Bowers and Merena’s 3/04 auction. This specific die variety (BD-6) is very rare with around three dozen known in all grades.

This is a pleasing example with natural medium to deep green-gold colorwith lighter splashes of orange-gold on the relief details. The strike is somewhat irregular and this is understandable when one looks at the large cracks on the obverse and reverse. There is some weakness at the centers and the radial lines in the obverse stars are flat but, for the issue and grade, the detail is acceptable. There are a few light mint-made adjustment marks on the obverse at the center but the overall quality of the surfaces is excellent.

There have been only three auctions records for examples of this variety graded EF45 since 2005. This includes $13,800 back in 2005 for a cleaned ANACS coin and $12,650 for a recolored piece in a PCGS holder which went off in the Goldberg 9/06 sale.

An important, genuinely rare piece for the advanced collector of early gold.

Ex Heritage 3/13: 4210 where it brought $12,338; earlier sold as Lot 7206 in Heritage’s 2000 ANA where it brought $3,565.