1834 $5 Capped Bust Head, Crosslet 4 Half-Eagle NGC MS64 

$235,000.00 USD


Breen-6500, BD-2, R.5. BD. The year 1834 saw the last issue of the "old tenor" gold coins in the United States. For most pre-1834 issues, only a tiny percentage of the production escaped the melting pot. In Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties, John Dannreuther estimates that only 45-50 specimens of the BD-2 variety are extant from an original mintage of 50,141 pieces. Dannreuther also pointed out that every issue in the Capped Head, With Motto, Small Size design type, which was only minted from 1829 to 1834, is VERY RARE.

Because of the extreme rarity of the type as a whole, the BD-2 is one of the more available issues of the design. Type collectors add to the vigorous competition whenever a specimen is offered. Collectors recognized the rarity of the older coins early on, and pursued any available specimen ardently. One early appearance was in the Fifth Semi-Annual Sale (Woodward, 10/1864), lot 1657. Woodward's description reads, "1834 The old type, with motto, from a different die, there being a cross on the bar of the figure 4 in the date; this is the rarest of the two varieties." The lot sold to J.O. Emery for $15. The issue has enjoyed increasing popularity, down to the present day.

The variety is characterized by the crosslet 4 in the date and the unfinished lowest curl (the other Crosslet 4 die, used on the unique BD-4 1834 Motto, Crosslet 4, has the lowest curl complete). The date is equally spaced between the rim and the bottom of the bust. On the reverse 5D is also centered in the field, with the flag-tip of the 5 pointing to the feather tip on the fletchings. Gorgeous original luster still resides on this amazing and EXTREMELY RARE coin. Even more is the incredible strike as all the curls and the highest points are razor sharp. The surfaces are semi-proof like and thoroughly appealing, and while there are very light signs of contact there is nothing that takes away from this EXTREMELY RARE early U.S. coin. 

The die state is an intermediate one, as the obverse die crack extending from star 8 to 13 as Bass-Dannreuther describes is present, but not that from the rim to cap "grazing" star 6. The reverse shows the characteristic circular die crack from MERICA down through 5D. Historical significance, absolute American rarity and type is what this piece represents.