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1842-D Small Date Liberty Head Half Eagle Obverse     1842-D Small Date Liberty Head Half Eagle Reverse


1842-D FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

 PCGS Nos: 8210, 8211

Mintage:
Circulation strikes: 59,608
Proofs: 0

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: 21.65 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight: 129 grains (8.24 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: "D" (for Dahlonega, GA) below the eagle on the reverse

Images courtesy of Hancock & Harwell Rare Coins


Recent appearances:
NGC MS-62.  Heritage 01/2004: 9014, $13,800.00, Small Date and Small Letters, Variety 7-E

NGC AU-58.  Heritage 01/2004: 9015, $21,850.00, Large Date and Letters, Variety 9-G

AU-50.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 373, "Small Date", illustrated, sold for $1,380.00  From RARCOA's sale of February 1972, Lot 883

ICG EF-45.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 4015, illustrated, sold for $1,207.00

VF-25.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 374, "Small Date", not illustrated, sold for $805.00  Purchased from Mike Brownlee, March 31, 1967

VF-25.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 217, "Small Date", not illustrated, sold for $833.75

Notes:
This date is represented by Small and Large Date varieties.  The coin illustrated above is a Small Date; below is an example of the Large Date.  As you can see, the differences in the sizes of the dates are slight.  Perhaps the most noticeable differences are in the sizes of the lettering on the reverse.  The Small Date variety, struck earlier in the year, conforms to the 1839-1841 type; the Large Date variety has the larger letters that were introduced on the reverse sometime in mid to late 1842.  According to Breen, the Small Date variety can be tied to a shipment of a single pair of dies on December 20, 1841.  Further, he notes that the single pair of dies used to strike the Large Date variety was shipped on September 29, 1842 and received on October 7th of the same year.  Assuming Breen's analysis to be correct, the Dahlonega mint produced 37,917 Small Dates and 21,691 Large Dates.

The finest "Small Date" examples graded by PCGS are 5 MS-62's.

The finest "Large Date" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-61.

Varieties:
Small Date (illustrated above)
Large Date (illustrated below)

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

1842-D Large Date Liberty Head Half Eagle Obverse      1842-D Large Date Liberty Head Half Eagle Reverse

1842-D Large Date Liberty Head Half Eagle
Images courtesy of Hancock & Harwell Rare Coins