1852 Small Head Wass, Molitor & Co. $5 NGC VF30

A “Small Head”

Wass, Molitor & Co. was one of the best-respected assaying and coining firms in San Francisco during the early years of the California Gold Rush. These gold pieces were welcome sights in circulation at a time when coinage was sorely lacking. This is an example of the rare 1852 Small Head variety modeled after the federal half eagle. Differences are most notable on the coronet (“W.M. & Co.”) and reverse legend. The NGC population report shows only two in VF with none higher.

Offered at $21,290 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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1806 Pointed 6, 8×5 Stars Draped Bust Half Eagle PCGS MS63

Choice Unc.

Numismatists have identified six die varieties of 1806 half eagles, five of them show a Pointed 6 in the date and the sixth has a Round Top 6. The 2021 Guide Book lists the mintage for all the Pointed 6 varieties as 9,676 pieces, while the single Round Top 6 variety has a large production total of 54,417 examples. This coin represents the BD-1 Pointed 6 variety, with stars 1 and 2 close to the curl, and imperfect T’s on the reverse. The BD-1 has a surviving population of 100-150 specimens in all grades and probably accounted for 6,000-8,000 pieces of the reported mintage. When tilted slightly, this coin is quite a bit lighter in hue (and less orange) than seen in the images. The PCGS population stands at 14 with 4 higher.

Offered at $34,500 delivered

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1857-S Liberty Half Eagle PCGS MS62

Another “Fishing for Bass”?

Ex: H.W. Bass Jr. Collection. Of the six 1857-S half eagles offered in the three Harry Bass gold sales, this piece was the finest. At the time (1998), it was the highest certified example at PCGS, and it is still housed in the old blue label Generation 4.0 PCGS holder (with barcode on the back) from that sale. The 1857-S half eagle remains scarce in Mint State to this day, and rare with original, non-seawater surfaces.

Offered at $13,950 delivered

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1841-D Half Eagle NGC MS63

Highly Lustrous, Flashy

According to Doug Winter, from an original mintage of 29,392 pieces, the 1841-D Liberty half eagle is estimated to have a surviving population of approximately 150-175 specimens in all grades combined. These numbers are quite small in an absolute sense. However, in circulated grades, at least, this issue is actually one of the more available ones in the series, as the supply of many other dates is even smaller. A scratch in the right obverse field might be all that’s keeping this coin from a higher grade (and considerably higher value). In hand, it’s even more appealing looking than seen in our images. The NGC pop report shows just 3 at this grade, with 3 higher.

Offered at $21,950 delivered

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1805 Draped Bust Half Eagle NGC MS64

Flashy, Choice Uncirculated

Prior to the publication of Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties in 2006, there was considerable confusion surrounding the half eagle die varieties of 1805 and 1806. Some coins were routinely offered as “new varieties” because they didn’t match anything in Walter Breen’s 1960s-era monograph. One later author described seven 1805 half eagle varieties, and noted that five of those seven were unlisted in Breen. Finally, using the observations of Harry Bass, Dannreuther correctly published the five known varieties in his 2006 reference, creating order out of chaos. When viewed in hand, this coin is lighter and far more lustrous and flashier than seen in in our images. The NGC population is just 16 with 4 higher.

Offered at $36,600 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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1929 Indian Half Eagles NGC/PCGS MS64

Rare Last-Year Pair

While short lived, this series comprised a number of highly elusive dates, none more so than the 1929. Although, the 1909-O is more recognizable to some, due to its low mintage, the 1929 is rarer in the absolute sense, with a survival rate which is approximately 50% lower. A total of 662,000 1929 five-dollar gold pieces were struck, 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. Anything finer than the two offered here is very rare, indeed. In fact, an MS65 example would cost more than twice what these do.

Offered at $40,250 each 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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(800) 257.3253
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Price is based on payment via ACH, Bank Wire Transfer or Personal Check.
Major Credit Cards Accepted, add 3.5%
Offer subject to availability