1825/4 $5 MS (PCGS# 8134)

Baltimore ANA08 PN

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1825/4 $5 AU50 NGC. BD-2, R.8. The 1825/4 is a part of the Capped Head half eagle type, one of the rarest series of American coins. The obverse was designed by Robert Scot and the reverse by John Reich. Few collectors have ever attempted a date run of these pieces. Such a collection would be prohibitively expensive today. In previous years they were not as costly, but they were also no more available than they are today. The entire series had a low mintage and high meltage. Once the silver-gold ratio reached 18 to 1, gold coins were worth more as bullion than their face value, and mass meltings began. A document in the National Archives uncovered by Donald Knaack show there were several large half eagle melts, including one in Paris in 1831 of 40,000 pieces. Until the late 1970s, the 1825/4 BD-2 was believed to be a unique coin. The only piece known was the former Mendes Cohen piece that ended up in the Eliasberg Collection. That piece is a disputed proof striking. The story of the discovery of this piece in the Kaufman Collection is a fascinating one, and was related in an article by Jeff Starck in the August 25, 2003 issue of Coin World: "For years, the Cohen specimen was thought the only specimen. Then, in the late 1970s, Harry X Boosel uncovered the second coin when he appraised the N.M. Kaufman Collection, long hidden in a bank vault in Marquette, Mich. "N.M. Kaufman was president of the Marquette County Savings Bank. He sold or gave his collection to his brother, Louis G. Kaufman, around the turn of the century. Louis was president of several banks, including the bank where it was displayed. ... When Louis G. Kaufman died, the bank retained the coins because of what they claimed was a previous arrangement. While many of the coins were on display for 50 years, the overdate rarity was stored." To extend the Kaufman story a bit further, when Harry Boosel examined the collection he found that most of the coins had been displayed in the bank conference room in an u
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