1807 HALF EAGLE-
Rarity: Very Rare
Images courtesy of Ira
& Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.
Fine-12, cleaned (illustrated above).
Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles,
Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 887, where
it was described (in part) as follows: "Breen-5E. Rarity 6+.
Sharpness of F-12 but cleaned. An extremely rare die variety that was
not listed in Breen's 1966 monograph on the series. The only offerings we
know of are the recent MS 61 coin offered in the amazing Harry Bass sale
by Bowers & Merena and two others they note in that catalog. Struck
from the same obverse die as the Breen-4D (is this correct?)
variety, the reverse is quickly distinguishable by the D of UNITED being
closer to the wing, and with the lower feather tip of the arrow above the
left side of the 5 rather than over the right tip of the flag of the 5.
This reverse die broke early, with a crack from the rim through the
upright of the E of STATES, through the scroll, eagle's head right of his
eye, down into the shield to the second group of vertical stripes from the
left. On this coin, another crack has appeared just past the second S in
STATES, from the rim to the motto below. Robert Miller in his book on
varieties of half eagles noted that just two were known to him. Bowers
estimated that perhaps 12-15 were known, based only on his experience of
selling 3 of this variety over the past two decades or so. Whatever the
true number, this is a much later die state than the Bass coin or the
example offered in the Bowers sale of May 1998, lot 1307 as EF 40.
The surfaces have been harshly cleaned, but this is not unusual for a coin
of this type or period. Struck from clashed dies, both obverse and
reverse, and identifiable by a small pit like dent in the field just
before Liberty's eye. The rims show one very minor mark that has been
filed off above fifth star on the obverse. Certainly one that should go to
a variety specialist, as this is probably one of the last struck with this
broken reverse die."
Sources and/or recommended reading: