1795 $5 Small Eagle AU58

CERTIFICATION#: -19493
PCGS#: 8066

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Ex. Guttag Brothers; Clapp Collection (1942). Sold by Bowers & Ruddy Oct '82 price realized $15,400. Lot #326.

Expert Comments

David Akers (1975/88): Although not particularly scarce by Half Eagle standards, the 1795 Small Eagle is nevertheless a relatively high priced coin due to its status as the first U.S. gold coin and its popularity as a type coin. It is much more common than the other dates of this type and is fairly obtainable in AU-Unc. condition. Gems, that is MS-65 or better coins, are rare but still occasionally available. Proof-like surfaces are the norm rather than the exception but no true proofs exist. There are, however, several first strike specimens that have the characteristics of "presentation" pieces.

One interesting variety exists with the second S in STATES over the letter D. This variety, although more rare than the varieteies with the plain S, does not generally command a premium.

Ron Guth: Harry Bass and John Dannreuther identified 12 different die varieties of the 1795 Small Eagle $5 gold piece, all of which are scarce, and some of which are exceedingly rare.  Some examples show adjustment marks (parallel file marks caused by filing the planchet to bring the weight down to standard); these are considered mint-caused defects that affect the value of the coin only minimally (actual scratches can have a major, detrimental effect on value depending on quantity and severity).

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties" by John W. Dannreuther and Harry W. Bass, Jr.

"United States Half Eagle Gold Coins 1795 to 1834" by Robert W. Miller, Sr. 

"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

Diameter: 25.00 millimeters Designer: Robert Scot Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 8,707 Weight: 8.75 grams Metal Content: 91.7% Gold, 8.3% Copper
4
16,000
8
20,000
2
10
22,000
1
15
26,000
2
20
28,000
1
25
29,500
3
30
31,000
3
45+
38,000
50+
42,000
53+
46,000
55+
51,500
58+
65,000
62+
140,000
63+
260,000
64+
385,000
1

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 550 R-5.9 5 / 5 20 / 23 TIE
60 or Better 100 R-8.0 4 / 5 13 / 23 TIE
65 or Better 5 R-9.7 1 / 5 7 / 23 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  

Goldbergs 9/1999:1733, $207,000 (plate-matched to the following) - Stack's 6/2008:2052, $586,500

1 MS65 PCGS grade   Superior 3/2001:798, $212,750
1 MS65 estimated grade  
4 MS64 PCGS grade Heritage 1/2007:3493, $345,000 - Madison Collection - Heritage 1/2008:3134, $373,750
4 MS64 PCGS grade