1802/1 Draped Bust $5 NGC AU53 - $10,700. Click on Coin Image to
Half Eagle. This early date, gold 1802/1 Half Eagle
has an above average strike. This coin is a true overdate
with the 2 clearly over the 1. Clash marks add interest
to the obverse of the coin.
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or telephone 1-800-624-1870
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Robert Scot designed the half eagle.
The obverse shows Liberty facing right. Below her is
the date which is off center to the left. Between the
date and the word LIBERTY on the left side of the coin
are eight stars. Another five stars follow LIBERTY down
to the bust. Liberty wears a large, soft cap. Her hair
flows down and also shows on her forehead.
The design was probably taken from a
Roman engraving of a Greek goddess. Liberty’s
cap was certainly not a Phrygian or liberty cap. The
liberty cap, emblematic of freedom, was worn by freed
slaves and freed gladiators in Roman times. It was a
close fitting cap used to cover a shorn head, which
was one of the way slaves were identified. The oversized
cap worn by Liberty has been called a turban, and the
design has been called the Turban Head because of it.
The reverse uses the heraldic
eagle motif taken from the Great Seal of the United
States. An eagle with upright wings is surrounded by
the inscription UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, interrupted
by the wing tips. Across the eagle’s neck is a
banner that holds the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Above its
head are stars, and above the stars are clouds. In its
talons the eagle holds the olive branch and arrows,
symbols of peace and preparedness. However, the design
is actually incorrect. Scot reversed the position of
the warlike arrows and the olive branch. The resulting
symbolism is either an extremely martial stance of saber-rattling
as a result of an undeclared naval war with France known
as the Franco-American War or a stupid blunder. If a
blunder, it was blindly followed for many denominations
that Scot designed.