Only 6 graded
higher at PCGS. A popular and important type coin,
the present specimen is a truly premium quality coin.
Both sides are very lustrous with relatively clean
surfaces for the grade. Orange-gold coloration with
full and flashy luster highlights the pristine surfaces
of this coin.
The strike is full, with no
weakness noted on either side. No individual abrasions
are worth to be mentioned on either side, which only
feature some scattered marks from careless handling,
presumably within the first few decades after this
coin was struck. A premium quality coin destined for
an advanced type set or high quality set of early
American gold coinage.
Please contact me by email
or telephone 1-800-624-1870
to reserve this great coin.
This type was designed by John Reich,
the new assistant engraver at the Mint, next to the
elderly Robert Scot, who had designed our nation’s
first gold coins, including the “work-horse”
five dollar gold piece, or half eagle. Short lived,
as the type was discontinued after 1812. Thus, the
present specimen represents an uncirculated first
year of issue coin of this type which his always in
By 1807, minting of the larger eagles
had been discontinued since 1804, and was not resumed
until several decades later. As such, the half eagle
was the denomination of choice for large transactions,
in particular between businesses and banks, as it
represented a, for the time, huge amount in cash.
Because of this, heavy circulation and the extremely
low number of people who at the time could afford
to put half eagles away for collections, this is a
scarce issue in the mint state grades.
Two varieties are known for this issue,
with the present specimen being a representative of
the more available variety, BD-8. This was the second
use of the obverse die, paired with a new reverse
die after the old broke after only a couple of thousand
coins had been struck. The reverse on this particular
variety best is identified by the position of the
leaf closest to U in UNITED. On this variety, it is
close, whereas on BD-7 it will be farther away, an
obvious difference which can easily be seen.