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.
There are no known 1814 half eagles except for those that show the underdigit 3, signaling a carryover from the previous year. However, this obverse die appears to have been unused in 1813, as neither of the known die marriages for that year provides an exact match with the obverse diagnostics. The flag of the first 1 in the date is curled, and the 8 is slightly larger than the other digits and protrudes both above and below the flanking 1s. Star 7 points to the lower edge of the Liberty cap. There is a die-centering dot between the curl and ear. The underdigit 3 fades in later die states, but remnants can usually be seen on both sides at the top of the 4, below the crossbar to the left, and on both sides of the crossbar on the right. The reverse die was first used for the BD-2 of 1813, with the first S of STATES almost centered over the E in the motto. The eagle has no tongue. The D in the denomination is noticeably double-punched, and the period after is high. Besides the popular overdate feature, this year has extra cachet as this reverse was carried over for the production of the fabulously rare 1815 half eagles, of which less than a dozen are known.
The production of 1814/3 half eagles is recorded as 15,454 coins, an amount only one-sixth that of the previous year. Bass-Dannreuther estimate that perhaps 80 to 100 examples survive today. In any case, the piece is a great conditional rarity in Mint State.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.
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