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Obverse of 1808 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1808 Half Eagle


1808 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8102

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 55,578
Proofs: 0

Designer: John Reich

Diameter: 25 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 91.7%
Silver and Copper - 8.3%

Weight: 135 grains (8.748 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (all dates of this type were struck at the Philadelphia mint)

Images courtesy of Hanks & Associates

Significant examples:
Uncirculated (illustrated above).  Ex - James Stack collection - the Rogers collection.

Varieties:
Normal Date
1808 "8 over 7"

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-64 (illustrated below).  Ex - Stack's sale of the Bartle Collection, October 1984, Lot 1112 -  Bowers and Merena's H.W. Bass, Jr. Collection sale, October 1999, Lot 789 - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 888 @$23,000.00, where it was described (in part) as follows: "Breen-4A, Rarity 4. PCGS graded MS-64. An outstanding example of this date, sharply impressed by the dies with every nuance of the design elements crisp and full. The color ranges from bright orange-gold to the familiar yellowish-green hues often seen on these early pieces. As to the luster, it is full and complete, with a radiant glow that entices the eye. Close examination with a glass will note a few trivial contact marks, nothing worthy of note though. Identifiable by a copper toning spot on the lower left serif of the I of UNITED.  The PCGS Population Report notes that only 2 have been so graded, with a single coin graded higher, placing this well up in the Condition Census for the date. The final star (just right of the date) has the familiar notch on the arm of the outer point. This notch is thought to be the signature of John Reich, the coin's designer. On several dies this small notch is noted in the same location on the last star, and occasionally on every one of the thirteen outer star points. Another curiosity is the small mark located at the base of each T on the reverse, perhaps the T punch was damaged, and this strange mark is present on both half eagles and quarters (apparently the Mint used the same letter punches on each) of the period."

NGC MS-63.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7214, "B-4b", illustrated, sold for $10,350.00

PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 319, "Breen-4A", illustrated, sold for $9,775.00  From Stack's sale of the Shapero Collection, October 1971, Lot 966

PCGS AU-55.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1350, "Miller-107", illustrated, sold for $3,565.00

Net EF-40, sharpness EF-45.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 113, "Breen-6455, Breen-2A, Overdate" sold for $1,782.50

VF-35, Cleaned.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6019, not illustrated, sold for $1,725.00  From the Clyde Godfrey Collection

Notes:
Scarce in all grades, but still available (for a price) in Uncirculated conditions. The finest example certified by PCGS is a single MS-65.

The finest Uncirculated "1808/7" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-65.

Sources and recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Obverse of 1808 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1808 Half Eagle

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.