US Coins

Richly colored 1802/1 Capped Bust gold Heritage

A problem-free 1802/1 Capped Bust $5 gold half eagle graded Very Good 10 with a green CAC sticker brought $4,080 on Feb. 23.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

If you’ve ever had a pocket piece, then you understand how long it takes a coin to acquire the sort of heavy wear that might take it down to a Fine, Very Good, Good or even an About Good, Fair or Poor grade. While many collectors gravitate toward high-end Mint State coins, others are drawn to the history and magic of heavily circulated coins. Finding a problem-free example of an otherwise cost-prohibitive rarity with solid eye appeal can be a real challenge that takes patience, but for many, the result is worth the work. Here is an example of such a coin.

Behind the scenes of the CCAC meetingBehind the scenes of the CCAC meeting CCAC member Dennis Tucker shares thoughts on designs for American Legion coins. Also, Bill O'Rourke reveals several U.S. coins found in circulated rolls that technically shouldn't be there.

The Lot:

1802/1 Capped Bust $5 half eagle, PCGS Very Good 10, green CAC sticker

The Price:



The Story:

Generally, early U.S. gold coins did not circulate as widely as lower-denomination coins, and heavily circulated examples are rarely seen. When encountered, they often show evidence of being used in jewelry or serving time as a pocket piece, with problems like heavy polishing, scratches, repairs and mounting remnants. A richly colored 1802/1 Capped Bust gold $5 half eagle graded Professional Coin Grading Service Very Good 10 with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker is a rare find. The coin sold for $4,080 at Heritage’s Feb. 22 Premier Session auction in Long Beach, California.

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Two different obverse dies were used to strike $5 half eagles in 1802. Both dies are overdates created from leftover 1801 dies and the 1 is clearly seen under the 2 in the obverse date. It as listed as BD-2 in the Harry Bass-John Dannreuther reference, and a die break over the F in OF on the reverse identifies it as die state c/c.

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