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Obverse of 1821 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1821 Half Eagle


1821 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8129

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 34,641
Proofs: ??

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)

Images courtesy of Ron Guth

Significant examples:
NGC MS-63 (illustrated above).  Offered by Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries at the October 2000 Long Beach Numismatic Exposition

NGC MS-61 (illustrated below).  Ex - Auction '89, Lot 888 - Superior's "Michael Keston" Collection Sale, January 1996, Lot 112 @ $24,200 - the Rogers collection - Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach Sale" May 27-29, 2001, Lot 3603, where it was described as follows: "1821 Breen-6479. NGC graded Mint State 61. The Michael Keston Specimen. Earlier this sold in Auction '89 and Superior's 1996 sale of the Keston collection (diagnostic features include some faint scratches above 5D. on reverse.)  Very sharply struck in rich yellow gold with dusky orange gold highlights on some of the hair curls, brow, nose, and tip of bust. The centers are slightly reflective and the borders frostier; throughout both sides the surface is quite clean with only scattered small marks noted.  As on all known examples of this date there are raised die lines below the final star on the obverse.  The 1821 Half Eagle is, for some reason, among the more overlooked rarities from this period.  We estimate there to be 30 or so around, with a typical specimen grading just Extremely Fine. The specimen offered here clearly rates high and is one of the finest seen or offered for sale in many years. Coin is in NGC holder 567780-001."

PCGS EF-45.  Ex - Superior Galleries "Pre-Long Beach" Elite Coin Auction, May 25- 27, Lot 3697, sold for $22,425.00

Notes:
This is one of the rarest dates in the entire Half Eagle series, although the mintage figure might indicate otherwise.  PCGS has graded only four examples of this date, the finest of which is a single MS-66! NGC has graded seven examples, including a single MS-61, a single MS-62 (Eliasberg), and a single MS-63 (illustrated above).

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

Obverse of 1821 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1821 Half Eagle

Images courtesy of Hanks & Associates