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September 28 , 2015


Gem 1811 Capped Bust $5 Gold, Tall 5, NGC MS64 - $42,500.
Click on Coin Image to enlarge

Only 1 graded higher at NGC. This beautiful Capped Bust 1811 Half Eagle boasts a full strike with full details on both sides. The centers of the stars, hair details, the eagle’s feather's are all strong and sharp. The dentils are also strong on both the obverse and reverse. What keeps this coin from MS-65 is mystifying.

The surfaces are extremely clean for the grade, which could have easily been a point higher. No adjustment marks are seen on the coin, and she is highly lustrous especially in protected areas. Please act quickly to secure this one of a kind early half eagle gold.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

Within six months of his assignment as Assistant Engraver, John Reich designed the new half eagle. They were immediately criticized because Liberty was seen as “the artist’s fat mistress.” The obverse includes the artist’s signature, the notch on star 13. Many of these pieces were saved because they were the first of a new design and distinctly different from the European and Latin American coins that circulated during this time. However, in 1834 the weight standard for gold was lowered, and many half eagles went into melting pots.

The obverse shows Liberty in profile facing left wearing a LIBERTY inscribed cap that was intended to represent a Phrygian cap. It has seven stars to the left of Liberty and six to the right with the date below. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle with its wings raised. It is more defiant than its predecessor with its mouth opened and its neck aggressively curved. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is in an arc around the eagle, interrupted by the wing tips. On a banner over the eagle’s head between its wings is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The denomination written as 5 D is below. Dentils are seen at the periphery of both sides of the coin.

Reich corrected the error made by Robert Scot in the design of the previous half eagle (as well as his other heraldic eagle motifs). Scot had placed the arrows in the eagle’s right or dexter claw and put the olive branch in the left or sinister claw. This reversal of the positions of these two items is an inaccurate modification of the Great Seal of the United States. Arrows in the right claw symbolize extreme militarism, perhaps placed there because of the recent hostilities with France over shipping rights. The symbolism was being used to make a statement to France and others about the sovereignty of the United States. On the Capped Bust Half Eagle, the olive branch is in the right claw and the arrows are in the left.


ADDITION NEW COINS ADDED - (Week of 9/28/2015)

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
Toll Free:
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com

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