Cert #8555 25673077

Coin Number 7

This is one of the finer examples of this rare die pairing of this date with the small eagle reverse. The surfaces are attractive with some scattered handling marks but are free of adjustment marks and retain considerable eye appeal and luster. As often seen the fields somewhat prooflike and lustrous, which adds to the already high visual treat. Here, after balancing the stars on the obverse with an 8 by 8 arrangement, a complete reversion to the style of 1795 obverses was undertaken with the stars arranged 12 by 4! Most curiously the head of Liberty was still slightly lowered on the die layout, enough to put in a single star atop Liberty’s cap and just below the rim, another seems forcibly squeezed in below Liberty’s lowest curl, and touches the 1 of the date–most curious considering there was ample room for this star on the far right in the lower placement near Liberty’s bust. Noted author and numismatist Ron Guth believes that the die engraver noticed a thin but developing die crack in this spot, and hence decided to place the star over on the other side, just touching the 1 in the date. This would account for the awkward star arrangement and seemingly large vacant space just above the bust. The reverse die was that used on the prior 1796 eagle coinage with 11 leaves in the branch. A rather spectacular example of this rare and desirable issue.

Ex Richard W. DeRobertis