1803/2 Capped Bust Right Half Eagle. BD-3. Rarity-4. Imperfect T, 3 Free Of Bust. AU-55 (PCGS). Sharply struck on both sides in a rich yellow-gold with the devices uniformly rose-gold in appearance. The surfaces show scattered light marks, but the eye appeal remains extremely high with substantial original luster in the protected areas. A most attractive specimen for the assigned grade.The early dates of the Philadelphia Mint are full of examples of getting the most out of the limited quantities of die steel on hand, and gold coins were not exempt from such cost-saving measures. The 1803/2 half eagle is just such an issue; both of the two obverse dies have the overdate, therefore there is not one single 1803-dated half eagle that lacks the overdate. Four die marriages using two obverse and three reverse dies have been identified. The two obverse dies were originally intended for the 1802 half eagles but for unknown reasons they were never used with that date, so the following year they were both recut to 1803 and put into use. The two obverses are most easily identified by examining the T in LIBERTY. The obverse die used in the first three die pairs, including the BD-3 as here, shows a T with a broken lower right serif while the final die pair used employs an obverse with a perfectly formed T. The BD-3 reverse can be distinguished by examining the proximity of the lower left-most star; here it is very close to the eagles beak almost as if to bite it. Early mint records are sometimes open to interpretation: the official number of half eagles delivered in 1803 is 33,506 pieces, though Bass & Dannreuther indicate that this figure also includes perhaps 1,000 1804-dated coins. The availability of the four varieties of 1803/2 half eagle are roughly equivalent, with around 125 to 175 coins remaining of the estimated 6,000 to 9,000 coined from the BD-3 die pair. An appealing AU example such as this will certainly attract considerable interest from new collectors and seasoned numismatists alike. From the Macon Collection.