1807 Capped Bust $5, Bust Left PCGS MS63. (BD-8, R-2). A popular and important type coin, the present specimen is a truly premium quality coin. Both sides are very lustrous with relatively clean surfaces for the grade. This type was designed by John Reich, the new assistant engraver at the Mint, next to the elderly Robert Scot, who had designed our nation’s first gold coins, including the “work-horse” five dollar gold piece, or half eagle. Short lived, as the type was discontinued after 1812. Thus, the present specimen represents an uncirculated first year of issue coin of this type which his always in demand.
Orange-gold coloration with full and flashy luster highlights the pristine surfaces of this coin. The strike is full, with no weakness noted on either side. No individual abrasions are worth to be mentioned on either side, which only feature some scattered marks from careless handling, presumably within the first few decades after this coin was struck. A premium quality coin destined for an advanced type set or high quality set of early American gold coinage.
By 1807, minting of the larger eagles had been discontinued since 1804, and was not resumed until several decades later. As such, the half eagle was the denomination of choice for large transactions, in particular between businesses and banks, as it represented a, for the time, huge amount in cash. Because of this, heavy circulation and the extremely low number of people who at the time could afford to put half eagles away for collections, this is a scarce issue in the mint state grades.
Two varieties are known for this issue, with the present specimen being a representative of the more available variety, BD-8. This was the second use of the obverse die, paired with a new reverse die after the old broke after only a couple of thousand coins had been struck. The reverse on this particular variety best is identified by the position of the leaf closest to U in UNITED. On this variety, it is close, whereas on BD-7 it will be farther away, an obvious difference which can easily be seen.
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