1811 $5 Small 5 AU58 NGC
BD-2, R.3. Nicely struck with light, natural toning and no surface distractions on either side. A few degrees of counterclockwise die rotation are noted as the coin turns from obverse to reverse.
The Capped Bust, Large Bust left half eagle was produced 1807 to 1812. The head punch is by John Reich's whose secret signature, a notch out of one point on star 13, appears on all dies from this period. Liberty wears a floppy cap said to have been the style of the day when Reich decked her out in it, with drapery and a clasped bust, prominent forehead curl. Reich's eagle punch has the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM above with the eagle in a more naturalistic pose than the heraldic type of the previous design.
Events of 1811: During the winter of 1811-12, the central Mississippi Valley was struck by three of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history. Even today, this region has more earthquakes than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The 400 terrified residents in the town of New Madrid (Missouri) were abruptly awakened by violent shaking and a tremendous roar. It was December 16, 1811, and a powerful earthquake had just struck. So powerful were the series of tremors that some sections of the Mississippi River appeared to run backward for a short time. The shockwaves propagated efficiently through Midwestern bedrock to where residents as far away as Pittsburgh and Norfolk were awakened by intense shaking. Church bells were reported to ring as far as Boston, Massachusetts and York, Ontario (now Toronto), and sidewalks were reported to have been cracked and broken in Washington, D.C. There were also reports of toppled chimneys in Maine. (PCGS 8109)