SOLD for $ 1.18M including premium
The $ 5 half eagle was established in 1795 with the small eagle reverse. That chicken headed bird early provoked mockery and condemnation. Despite the laurels in its beak, it was not worthy of symbolizing the American ambition. Its successor whose chest is hidden by a coat of arms is named the heraldic eagle.
The very small amount of small eagles on the date of 1798 is due to a late use of an old reverse die that should have already been obsoleted from production.
The best of these coins, graded AU55 (almost uncirculated) by PCGS, is estimated $ 550K for sale by Stack's Bowers on September 30 in New York in association with Sotheby's, lot 2074. It once belonged to the collection of King Farouk.
In a lesser condition, another specimen became the most valuable coin in the world when it was sold at auction for $ 3,000 in June 1912.