The NGC Universal ID is a four digit alphanumeric that groups coins based on a unique combination of date, mintmark, denomination and striking process (MS, PF, or SP). These IDs are a simple organization of all coins prior to variety attribution and grading.
A substantial total of 100,287 Capped Bust Left half eagles was minted in 1810, with four major die varieties known for the date. The half eagles of 1810 were avidly collected by early numismatists, who began to differentiate between the Large Date and Small Date varieties of the issue at a relatively early date. However, it was not until the twentieth century that all four subtypes became known. In the famous ANS Exhibition of 1914 William Woodin displayed and identified both Small Date varieties (BD-1 and BD-2), as well as the Large Date, Large 5 variety (BD-4). The Large Date, Small 5 variety (BD-3) is extremely rare, and was not known to early specialists, such as Edgar Adams and John H. Clapp. The discovery coin may have been the example in the Frederic W. Geiss Collection (B. Max Mehl, 2/1947), lot 1676. Mehl identified the coin as, '1810 Large date with small 5D.' However, Mehl did not seem to realize he had identified a previously unknown variety. Knowledge of all four varieties did not become widespread until Walter Breen published his monographs in the 1960s.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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