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Obverse of 1842 Half Eagle     Reverse of 1842 Half Eagle


1842 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8206, 8207, 8432

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 27,578
Proofs: 2 known

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) above the date

Images courtesy of David Akers Numismatics, Inc.

Varieties:
Small Date, Small Letters
Small Date, Large Letters

Significant examples:
PCGS Proof-63 (illustrated above).  Ex - Thomas Cleneay, Lot 619 - William H. Woodin (displayed at the 1914 ANA convention) - Colonel E.H.R. Green - Palace Collection of Egypt sale (King Farouk of Egypt), Lot 249 (along with 17 other coins) - John Jay Pittman - David Akers Numismatics, Inc. "The John Jay Pittman Collection", October 21-23, 1997, Lot 955, illustrated, "...a die break that literally bisects the reverse; it runs from the bottom rim through the left side of the E in FIVE to the eagle, then exits from the top of the eagle's head past the right side of the T to the rim." - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 371, "Small Letters", illustrated, sold for $66,700.00

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-61.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1365, "Large Letters", illustrated, sold for $8,050.00

AU-55.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 132, "Breen-6536, Small Letters" Not sold  From the Bowers & Merena sale of the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part II, October 1999, Lot 955; earlier from Stack's sale of the Davis Collection, Feb. 1968, Lot 276

PCGS AU-55.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1364, "SMall Letters", illustrated, sold for $3,335.00

PCGS AU-53.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 372, "Large Letters", illustrated, sold for $2,530.00  Purchased from Stanley Kesselman, June 30, 1967

EF-40, Cleaned.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6023, "Small Letters", not illustrated, not sold

Notes:
Only two Proof examples are known.  One is in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution; the other is the Pittman-Bass coin listed above.

The finest Uncirculated "Small Letters" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-66.

The finest Uncirculated "Large Letters" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-63.

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