The famous and rare 1795 Heraldic Eagle five dollar gold pieces were actually struck in 1797 or 1798, when the new reverse design was first introduced to the half eagle series. Three die varieties are known for the 1795 Heraldic Eagle pieces, utilizing three obverse dies and two reverse dies. The three obverse dies were used earlier in 1795 to produce Small Eagle coins. One of the reverse dies was also used for a 1797-dated Heraldic Eagle five with only one known example permanently in the Smithsonian Institution. Die state evidence proves that the 1795 half eagle was minted after the 1797 piece was struck.
For some unknown reason, most survivors are in high grade.
Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.