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1806 Half Eagle

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1806 $5
NGC MS 60 Pointed 6 - CAC
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1806 Pointed 6 Half Eagle (BD-5, R-7) NGC MS60 CAC. In their recent reference (Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties), Bass-Dannreuther identify this variety to be R-7, with an approximate number of 10 to 12 pieces known. The lack of auction appearances, however, indicate that this coin could be even scarcer, most likely to be a rarity 7+ and possibly an R-8.

The present coin is easily identified to be this rare variety as it is the only use of the obverse die. This was the only pointed 6 obverse die that has the 1 in the date free from the curl. With an estimated mintage of 1,000-1,500 coins, something made this die to retire early. On all known examples, the die is still in perfect shape, so the reason is still unknown.

This was the first use of the reverse die, which shows large letters in the legend. This die was later used to strike another variety of the 1806 half eagle, where it acquired severe clashing and was retired after its use their. Another key future seen on all known examples is the weak strike, in particular on the center of the reverse.

The present coin is fully lustrous, and does exhibit the somewhat weak strike as mentioned. However, this should not limit the grade, as it is mint-made. No wear shows on any of the high points, which is actually quite rare with these early gold coins. Many were much handled, and thus show many marks and friction wear. This is a seldom offered opportunity to obtain the rarest variety of the 1806 pointed 6 half eagle.

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