Majestic Choice AU 1795 Small Eagle $5 to be Offered in Rarities Night of our March 2016 Baltimore Auction

Stack’s Bowers Galleries is pleased to present a Choice AU 1795 Small Eagle $5 in our Rarities Night session of the Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo. Uniform sunshine-yellow toning on each side is amplified by a semi-prooflike reflectivity shimmering across the fields. The design elements are well rendered and densely frosted, haloed by satiny Mint luster in most areas. True friction is minimal for the assigned grade (AU-55+ NGC)), though a trivial blemish beneath the flag of the 7 in the date is noted for accuracy.

The obverse displays a number of denticle spurs along the right side; notably under the knob of the 5 in the date and at Star 14, which are both diagnostic to the BD-6 die pairing. In addition, a crack extends from the rim through the bust tip and another through the first three letters of LIBERTY, alluding to a later die state. Similar exaggerated spurs and light cracks are visible throughout the reverse, though most dramatic is the overpunching of the final S of STATES over an errant D. BD-6 sees the second employment of this reverse die and is one of the most popular varieties of the issue.       

The 1795 Small Eagle is significant as the first gold coin produced in the United States Mint. The mintage for this denomination during calendar year 1795 amounted to 8,707 coins, but as other examples from 1795-dated dies are believed to have been struck in later years, as many as 12,106 Small Eagle 1795 half eagles may have been produced in total. With only 60 to 80 coins believed extant in all grades (per John W. Dannreuther, 2006) for the BD-6 die pairing, this is a scarce variety. A lovely Choice AU survivor worthy of serious consideration.

This important rarity will be offered alongside other treasures in our March 2016 Rarities Night session, held in conjunction with our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo in Baltimore. The entire auction will be available online at To consign to one of our upcoming auctions, please contact our offices today at 1-800-458-4646 to speak with a Consignment Director and see what Stack’s Bowers can do for you.

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