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Obverse of 1815 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1815 Half Eagle


1815 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8118

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 635
Proofs: 0

Designer: Robert Scot & 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)

Notes:
The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-65.

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Varieties (1):
Only one combination of dies is known for this year

Known examples:
The following listing of known 1815 Half Eagles was provided by Saul Teichman (edited by Ron Guth).  Please note that this information corrects several mis-attributions that have been repeated in recent sale catalogs:

1) Uncirculated.  H. Ely? - Davis-Graves - Smith - Walton -  Stack's 1976 ANA - Naftzger - Paramount Fixed Price List - Pogue?

2) NGC MS-62.  Superior, July 1993 - Ira & Larry Goldberg, May 1999 and June 2000.  Uncertain earlier pedigree.  This coin shows a scratch between stars 6 and 7 and appears to be different from any of the above.

3) PCGS AU-58.  Seavey - Parmelee - H.P. Smith - Clapp, Eliasberg - Bass - HWBRF - Bowers & Merena, October 1999?  This example shows a chip above the T in Liberty.  This coin IS Lot 204 of Chapman's H.P. Smith sale.  Carlson was confused here possibly because the plates are mis-numbered.  Lot 204 on the plate is actually Lot 202 (the 1813 half eagle).  The 1815 is actually mis-numbered as Lot 206 on the plate.  The plate clearly shows the chip above the T in all sales listed.  For more on the mis-numbering of the H.P. Smith plates, see Bowers & Merena's Champa II book sale or the H.P. Smith sale catalog.  (Teichman: I believe Carlson corrected this in the ANA Centennial Anthology).

4) NGC AU-50 (illustrated above and below).  Ellsworth? - Newcomer - Atwater - Carter - Stacks, January 1984, apparently cleaned after the sale to remove coppery toning in the lettering - Stack's & Superior Galleries "Charles Kramer" sale, 1988, Lot 317 - Superior, January 1996, Lot 317  (PCGS45) - Rogers collection - Mike Storeim via Hanks & Associates - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale" May 27-29, 2001, Lot 4040 (NGC AU-50 #138587-012), plated, unsold - sold privately immediately after the sale.  The Ellsworth pedigree is from Breen.  The removal of the coppery toning has led to some confusion about this coin's pedigree chain, leading to the mistaken belief that this was actually two different coins.  Carl Carlson caught the error in the ANA Centennial Anthology and rejoined the pedigrees.  [The Newcomer inventory does not list the source, but does show a cost of $3,000.00 - RG]

5) Choice About Uncirculated.  Seavey duplicate - Chapman Brothers' auction of the "Bispham" collection, February 1880 - Smithsonian (in 1885).  Carl Carlson's listing is wrong here. There is a definite match between the Bispham and Gillilland's Sylloge plates as this coin shows horizontal scratches across the centers of  both obverse and reverse.

6) Swedish Mint Museum - mentioned in the Bispham sale catalog.

7) Choice About Uncirculated.  Stickney - Ten Eyck - Col Green? - Bell? - C.T. Weihman? - Memorable - Hester? - Menjou - Kagin 12/51? - Baldenhofer -  Josiah K. Lilly - Smithsonian Institution.  This example shows a rim nick left of the numeral 5 on reverse and a crescent shaped scratch, die break or clash from top of cap into left obverse field.  The Ten Eyck plate doesn't appear to show the obverse scratch/die break but does clearly show the reverse nick.  The Stickney plate shows both.  This coin is the plate coin for the Memorable and Menjou sales.  I do not know, however, if this is a 'stock' photo or the actual sale coin in those sales. Carl Carlson claimed in the Kramer sale catalog that this example is part of the Col Green photo library but it is not.  Some of this pedigree may belong with other coins listed here.

8) Choice About Uncirculated.  Mehl in 1912 - Granberg - Woodin - Newcomer - Col. Green - King Farouk - Norweb - Harry Bass - HWBRF.  This example is also the plate coin for the Flanagan, Bell and H.R. Lee sales from Stacks' Col Green photo library.  It is also the example on Mehl's Newcomer plates.  This example is the only known specimen with vertical die scratches across the face, a scratch near star 4 in the left obverse field and one near the E in United in the left reverse field.  This example's pedigree is often misinterpreted from Mehl's description in the Atwater sale.  Carl Carlson is wrong about this and the Baldenhofer coin being the same.  They are not!!

9) Choice About Uncirculated.  Mickley? - Appleton? - Woodward? -  Newlin - Garrett - JHU - Garrett I - Auction '84.

10) "About Uncirculated."  Flanagan? - James A. Stack - Stacks, March 1995.  This coin is not the plate coin in the Flanagan sale catalog!  The Flanagan pedigree in the  Stack's, March 1995 sale is by P. Scott Rubin.

11) Mitchelson - Connecticut State Library.  This is NOT the Bispham coin as Carlson believed.  It does have discoloration on the top of the obverse possibly caused by the removal of a loop.

Sources and/or 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

E-mail from Saul Teichman dated May 29, 2001

E-mail from Saul Teichman dated November 10, 2003

Obverse of 1815 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1815 Half Eagle

Images courtesy of Hanks & Associates