DLRC #: 246325 // PCGS #: 4272
The 1805 half dime is one of the true underrated coins in early numismatics. Perhaps because it is so scarce, most collectors overlook the rarity of this issue but it has long been one of our favorite Bust coins. The coin has medium honey-gold toning on a well-struck obverse with diagnostic soft striking seen in the clouds on the reverse. Technically, we could see this coin in an AU58 holder although we like it a lot in this grade. This is the only NGC AU55 graded. PCGS has graded (2) in AU55; (3) in AU58; NGC: (2) in AU58. One MS65 coin is known and we actually saw it priced at a coin show a few years ago with a price tag well into the seven-figures. According to Logan-McCloskey, there is just one die marriage of this date. Struck from a single pair of dies, only a reported 15,600 coins were struck. However, there are probably far fewer than 100 known specimens today. The Eliasberg/Price specimen is one of the best known of these pieces as its pedigree can be traced back to Eliasberg's acquisition of the Clapp Collection. According to the Eliasberg catalog, this piece was either purchased by Clapp in June of 1894 for $13.25, or in 1906 for $37.00. (Eliasberg purchased two examples from Clapp.) Clearly Eliasberg favored this as the better specimen since he sold the other one off in a 1947 Stack's auction.