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Obverse of 1841 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1841 Half Eagle


1841 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8202

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 15,833
Proofs: estimated 5

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: ±21.65 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight: 129 grains (8.24 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) above the date

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Notes:
With a mintage of only 15,833 coins, the 1841 Half Eagle is rare in all grades.  In terms of the number of surviving examples, the 1841 ranks as the second rarest of any of the P-Mint Half Eagles of the 1840's, right behind the slightly rarer 1842.  Uncirculated examples are very rare, with perhaps less than two dozen known.  None are known above the grade of MS-64.  Most of the gold for these coins came from the Southeast United States (gold had not yet been discovered in California), thus many 1841 Half Eagles exhibit hints of a pale green color because of the natural impurities in the gold.  

The finest Uncirculated examples graded by PCGS are 5 MS-64's.

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-64 (illustrated above).  Ex - possibly Stack's "Grant Pierce", 1965 - Stack's, May 1985, sold for $30,800 - David Akers' section of Auction '89, Lot 1391, sold for $34,100 - Auctions by Bowers & Merena, Inc. "Paul S. Mory", June 2000, Lot 1184, sold for $10,350 - Superior Galleries' "The ANA 2001 National Money Show Auction", March 8-9, 2001, Lot 814, plated - sold for $11,500.00

PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 131, unsold

NGC MS-64 (illustrated below).  Offered at the October 2001 Long Beach show by Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries.

PCGS MS-63.  Ex – American Numismatic Rarities, LLC’s “The Classics Sale,” July 25, 2003 , Lot 702, illustrated, sold for $10,062.50

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-62.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 366, illustrated, sold for $9,200.00  Purchased from Stanley Kesselman, May 5, 1969

AU-55.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 367, illustrated, sold for $1,035.00  From Stack's sale of the Davis Collection, February 1968, Lot 273

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 1841 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1841 Half Eagle

Images courtesy of Ron Guth