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Obverse of 1853-C Half Eagle     Reverse of 1853-C Half Eagle


PCGS No: 8254


Circulation strikes: 65,571
Proofs: 0

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: 21.65 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10%

Weight: 129 grains (8.24 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: "C" (for Charlotte, NC) below the eagle on the reverse

Images courtesy of Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.

The Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina was established in 1838 to help process the gold that had been discovered in that area of the country.  From 1838-1861, the Charlotte Mint produced only gold coins of the $1, $2.50, and $5 denominations.  Most Charlotte Mint coins come poorly struck or well worn, but the overall quality of the 1853-C Half Eagle is better than expected.  Most circulated examples are Extremely Fine or worse, and About Uncirculated examples are rare.  Uncirculated examples are very rare, appearing mostly in the MS-61 to MS-62 range.  No Gem examples are known.

The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-64.

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-64.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8970, plated, unsold

Recent appearances:
AU-55.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 436, illustrated, sold for $2,990.00  From Superior's sale of February 1973, Lot 424

AU-50, Scratched, cleaned.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 6026, not illustrated, sold for $1,322.50  From the Clyde Godfrey Collection

"EF-40" (illustrated above).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 908, sold for $977.00

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