1828 $5 MS (PCGS# 8137)

2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago #1184

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1828 $5 MS64 PCGS. CAC. BD-4, High R.6. Taken as a whole, the Capped Bust Left half eagles of the 1820s are probably the rarest group of coins in the U.S. federal series. Famous ultra-rarities like the 1825/4 (two examples known) and the 1822 (three known) have dominated numismatic headlines whenever a specimen was offered. The coin offered here represents a date and variety that can hold its own even in that august company, the famous, very rare 1828 BD-4 half eagle. Mint records indicate that 28,029 Capped Bust Left half eagles were struck in 1828, with that smallish total split between four different die varieties. Two of the varieties have a perfect date, while the other two are overdates, 1828/7. The present coin displays a perfect date, and stars 1 and 13 are positioned close to the bust, identifying the BD-4 variety. The other perfect date variety of this year, the BD-3, shows the stars much further away from the bust. Experts estimate that the BD-4 variety probably accounted for more than half of the reported mintage, approximately 15,000-20,000 pieces. John Dannreuther and PCGS both estimate the surviving population of the BD-4 at 12-15 pieces, but we can account for only nine separate examples in our roster below. PCGS and NGC have combined to certify nine coins in all grades over the years (3/13), and that total probably includes some duplication. Both services list a single specimen in MS65, but those certification events almost certainly represent the same coin. This coin is acknowledged by most experts to be the second-finest known. The 1828 BD-4 is known in a single die state, Bass-Dannreuther Die State a/b. The crack between 5 and D in the denomination, seen on all examples of the BD-4, is easily visible on this specimen This variety was the only use of the obverse die, but the reverse was used to strike the extremely rare BD-3 variety of this date, and the 1829 Large Date variety.
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