Coin Specifications

Category: Patterns & Trial Coins (1792-1863)
Mint: Philadelphia
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1797 J-24 MINT DEFACED $5 PF obverse 1797 J-24 MINT DEFACED $5 PF reverse
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Description & Analysis

Judd-24, Pollock-40, Unique.

Design. Both obverse and reverse dies were used to strike 1797 Small Eagle BD-4 half eagles. The berry on the right side of the wreath on the reverse is inside the wreath, the key diagnostic of the extremely rare BD-4 variety. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.

Commentary. This issue is an original die trials piece from 1797. It was defaced at the Mint to prevent possible counterfeiting (it would be a simple matter to gild the piece, and five dollars was a lot of money in 1797). Miraculously preserved, this piece has been known to numismatists since the 1890s. The dies were used to strike an extremely rare variety of 1797 half eagle, BD-4, with only a single example known today. The BD-4 variety was unknown until Robert P. Hilt discovered a specimen in the Byron Reed Collection in 1972. Harry Bass purchased that coin at the sale of the Byron Reed Collection (Spink, 10/1996), lot 99, and it now resides in the Harry Bass Research Foundation. Because of this unique copper pattern, the BD-4 reverse die was known to the numismatic community for almost a century before the single gold example was discovered. Unique, the only specimen known.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1
Low Grade: 50
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 50

The chart showing 50 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 3/31/2020 1797 $5 J-24 MINT DEFACED PF BN
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------1--------------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------1--------------1
 -------100%-------------- 

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