1883 Liberty Half Eagle NGC PR65 DCAM

Proof $5 Lib Rarity

The 1883 proof Liberty half eagle claims a mintage of 61 pieces, a notable increase over the previous year, but still a tiny number in absolute terms. Forty examples were issued with the proof sets on February 10 and the rest were struck as individual pieces throughout the year. Unfortunately, the higher mintage just off-set a low survival rate for this issue, and the surviving population is not noticeably larger than those of previous years. Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth note, “There are fewer than 20 coins traceable today, including those in museum collections.” In hand this beauty is more yellow-gold hue than the red-orange seen in our images. The NGC population stands at just 2 with 2 higher.

Offered at $43,300 delivered

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1929 Indian Half Eagle PCGS MS65

None Graded Higher

Only the Philadelphia Mint coined gold in 1929, and production was focused on the double eagle denomination. The 1929 half eagle is, in terms of total population, the rarest Indian Head five in the series. Several hundred pieces survive, primarily in Mint State, since this issue never circulated. However, the PCGS population report shows only 12 at this grade level with NONE HIGHER. Nor has NGC graded any higher, either. In other words, an MS65 is as good as it gets for this date. This one is lustrous and attractive.

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Offered at $106, 400 delivered

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1929 Indian Half Eagle PCGS MS64

Last Year-Of-Issue Rarity

The Indian Head half eagle series was short-lived. Yet, it comprised a number of highly elusive dates, none more so than the 1929. Although the 1909-O is perhaps more recognizable to the uninitiated thanks to its low mintage of 34,200 coins, the 1929 is rarer in the absolute sense with a survival rate approximately 50% lower than its New Orleans counterpart. The Mint struck 662,000 five-dollar gold pieces that year, but nearly the entire mintage was held in reserve and eventually melted after the Gold Recall of 1933. Coins that avoided the melting pot are apt to be found in AU to Uncirculated condition, generally MS61 to MS63.

Offered at $35,750 delivered

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1804 Small 8 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS63

Choice Mint State

 A mintage of 30,475 Capped Bust Right half eagles was accomplished in 1804, with seven die varieties known for the date. This coin represents the scarce BD-1 variety, with a Small 8 (John Dannreuther notes it is really a Normal 8) in the date and a graver’s line from the point of the shield to the eagle’s beak on the reverse. The BD-1 has a surviving population of 70-90 examples in all grades.

Offered at $30,900 delivered

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1908-D Indian Half Eagle NGC MS65

Rare First Year of Issue

The Philadelphia issue was the chief beneficiary of public hoarding when Bela Lyon Pratt’s Indian Head half eagle made its debut in 1908, and is readily available in most grades today. Its Denver counterpart, however, boasts a surviving population that is more in line with later issues: The date is available in grades through MS64 but becomes a rarity at the Gem level. In fact, he NGC population is only 7 with none higher.

Offered at $22,750 delivered

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1808/7 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS61

According to Mint records, 55,578 Capped Bust Left half eagles were struck in 1808, the second year of the design. Four die varieties are known for the date, two with perfect dates and two struck from leftover obverse dies from 1807 that were over-dated and pressed into service. The remnants of the under-type 7 are plainly visible at the upper left and lower left of the final 8, and inside the top loop. The BD-1 is a rare variety, with fewer than three dozen examples thought to be extant in all grades. It probably accounted for 2,000-3,000 pieces of the reported mintage and is by far the rarest variety of the date. In hand, this example is considerably more lustrous and eye-appealing than seen in our images.

Offered at $18,975 delivered

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1808 Capped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS62

A Very Old, but Unworn Lady

This issue is part of a very short lived series, often referred to as “Capped Bust Large Bust”, which ran only from 1807-1812. The example offered here is well struck and exhibits a pleasing tarnish-gold color. Considering that It would likely cost five figures to obtain a representative which grades just a single point higher, this grade seems like a nice entry point.

Offered at $14,375 delivered

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1806 Round 6, 7X6 Stars Draped Bust Half Eagle PCGS MS64

The 1806 mintage was large by early gold standards — 64,093 pieces were produced, with six varieties. Although five of the varieties are the Pointed 6 half eagles, combined they represent as little as 25% of the total production. The lion’s share goes to the BD-6 Round Top 6 variant such as this coin, with an estimated 35,000 to 50,000 pieces produced. It is far and away the favorite candidate for type collectors and date collectors seeking just a single example of the year. Only 8 have been graded higher by PCGS, 5 of which are MS64+ representatives.

Offered at $37,375 delivered

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1803/2 Draped Bust Half Eagle PCGS MS63

Is 3 Better Than 2?

After producing normally dated half eagles in 1800, the Mint produced no 1801-dated half eagles, yet the half eagles of 1802 are all 1802/1 overdates. Similarly, although there are no normally dated (non- overdates ) 1802 half eagles, the half eagles of 1803 all are 1803/2 overdates. The PCGS population is 22 with 20 higher. This is a pleasing representative.

Offered at $26,990 delivered

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1839 Liberty Half Eagle PCGS MS64

Shockingly Nice Top Pop Rarity

The first issue of Gobrecht’s Liberty Head design, appearing in 1839, is regarded among specialists as a distinct one-year type. The entire obverse portrait is a little more graceful-appearing than on subsequent issues which show a modified bust, with the chief difference being seen in the curvature of Liberty’s neck truncation; it is much more pronounced on the 1839 than on later dates. Mint State survivors are rare in any grade, with a handful of MS64 coins being the finest known. In fact, this is one of only three PCGS MS64’s with none higher!

Offered at $58,800 delivered

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