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HALF EAGLE GOLD COINS

1799 Half Eagle

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1799 $5
NGC AU58 - CAC
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1799 Small Stars Reverse Half Eagle (BD-2, R-5+) NCG AU58 CAC. An estimated mintage of 10,000-15,000 half eagles were struck bearing the 1799 date. Of these, in their reference “Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties”, Bass-Dannreuther estimate that 1,500-2,500 were struck from this die combination, one of the more available of the year.

The obverse die used to strike this magnificent coin was not used previously, and is thus still in very good state. Later in the year, the obverse was matched with another reverse die, and this obverse die broke after it struck not even more than 800 coins. This was a common occurrence at the early US mint, as the Mint employees had many problems keeping the dies in use for a longer period.

The reverse die was earlier used in 1798, and was lapped before it put in use to strike this coin. This is one of the most interesting reverse die of the series, made by John Smith Gardner. He based the position of the reverse stars on that seen on the Great Seal of the United States. As a result, the stars are almost perfectly aligned, an effect that can be boldly seen on the present coin.

Completely original, it is hard to imagine how this coin remained in this lovely state of perseveration for more than 200 years. Very nicely toned, this coin shows vibrant red-orange-yellow gold color on both sides. Lustrous surfaces, only the slightest friction on the highest points keeps this coin out of a much higher Mint-State holder.

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