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July 22, 2017


Rare 1799 Draped Bust $5 Gold NGC MS61

Beautiful 1849-D Gold $1 NGC MS63

Just came in for Trade: Pair of 1799 Draped Bust $5 Gold NGC MS61 and 1849-D Gold $1 NGC MS63.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve the coins you would like to purchase.

Rare 1799 Draped Bust $5 Gold NGC MS61 -
Price: P.O.R

Early Half Eagle. This rare, mint state early date 1799 Half Eagle shows no wear, as expected for a mint state coin. The surfaces are virtually mark-free and original. Mint luster is seen within the devices. The dentils are strong on both sides of the coin. An excellent die crack is seen on the reverse starting from the edge between the S and O and continuing through the clouds and stars. Two more are seen on the left field. These cracks show that the die was starting to age and had been reused a great deal. Light adjustment marks are seen across stars 1 and 2 adding historical interest to the coin.

The obverse design 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. Six 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 cap is actually a stylized Phrygian cap with a long lock of hair that wraps unnaturally around it, creating the false impression of a turban. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle. However, Scott mixed up the positions of the arrows and olive branch. The arrows held in the wrong claw signify defiant militarism. Either Scott made an error copying the image of the Great Seal, or he deliberately changed the symbolism perhaps because the United States had been engaged with France in an undeclared naval war over international shipping and this departure from political correctness was a warning to France and others about the sovereignty of America. In the field above the eagle are thirteen stars and above them, seven clouds. A banner from wing to wing has the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The early half eagle coins have no denomination because gold was valued by its weight and fineness as was the European coinage of the time. As seen on contemporary Large Cents, dentils are at the edge of both the obverse and reverse of these coins.

Thomas Jefferson chose Robert Scot to be the first Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23, 1793. Scott was born in 1744 in Edinburgh, Scotland or England. (Documentary evidence is lacking as to where he was born.) He was trained as a watchmaker in England and learned engraving afterwards. He moved to the United States in 1777, where he worked as an engraver of plates, bills of exchange, and office scales. During the Revolution, he was an engraver of paper money. In 1780 he was made the State Engraver of Virginia. He moved to Philadelphia the next year. He was appointed Chief Engraver of the United States Mint on November 23, 1793 by David Rittenhouse, Mint Director. His salary in 1795 was 1,200 per year.

The Mint Director received only $800 dollars per year more. Scot’s ability to make dies was limited, and he was advanced in years with failing eyesight. His work was somewhat less than that done in Europe at the time, and Scot was criticized for its poor quality. He was responsible for designs of most of America’s first coins. These include the Flowing Hair and the Draped Bust motifs used on the early silver coins, and the gold quarter eagle, half eagle and eagle. Scot also designed the 1794-1797 half cent, the 1800-1808 draped bust half cent, and the Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal. Scot died on November 1, 1823 and was succeeded by William Kneass as Chief Engraver.

The quantity of coins minted for a denomination in those days depended on the amount of gold that was deposited at the Mint. Since small amounts of gold were received in 1799, only 7,451 half eagles were minted. All coins were struck at the Mint in Philadelphia, which was the only coinage facility in the country at the time.

The NGC insert indicates that the coin is from the American Independence Collection, a newly created registry for early U.S. gold coins. According to an NGC Vice President, the early gold coins in this set, “… are definitely among the most difficult to complete. To attempt them is to undertake a long and serious pursuit. This underscores the achievement of the American Independence collection, which consists of high-grade and attractive examples of these challenging coins. As it continues to grow, it should be a milestone Registry collection.”

There are two varieties of the 1799 half eagle, one has Large Reverse Stars and the other, the present coin, has Small Stars. In its population report, NGC shows 1 1799 Small Reverse Stars half eagle in MS61 with 2 better.



Beautiful 1849-D Gold $1 NGC MS63 - Price: P.O.R

First year of issue for the gold dollar, struck at the Dahlonega Mint. The present coin is a blazing and lustrous example of this popular issue among southern-gold specialists. The Dahlonega Mint only struck gold coins between 1838 and 1861, after which it was seized by the confederate army. The smallest town that ever struck federal US coins, Dahlonega is now a small city in Georgia with a population of 3,800 people. Together with the Charlotte and New Orleans Mints, these southern Mints have always attracted gold specialists for their romance and history.

Mintages were mostly small, as it depended on the amount of gold that was deposited at the Mint. Of the gold dollar, examples were struck continuously until the last year of operation in 1861. The first year had a total mintage of 21,588 coins, of which approximately 35 to 50 remain in uncirculated condition. While this is a low number, this makes it one of the most common Dahlonega issues in mint-state.

While collecting gold dollars by date is a task not taken by many, presumably because of their size, this is also the only open wreath issue from the Dahlonega Mint. As a result, anyone who is building a southern-gold type set needs an example of this issue, which are always in demand.

The present piece, graded by NGC as MS-63, is of premium quality for the grade. A very strong strike, this must be one, if not the boldly pressed example of this issue. Lustrous, untoned surfaces show no major distractions along with full luster. Some blemishes in the fields, in particular the left obverse field, show that account for the grade. This coin represents a rare opportunity to acquire an uncirculated gold coin from this beloved Mint.

Very Truly Yours,

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

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