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1854-C FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS No: 8257, 98257

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 39,283
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 Superior Galleries

Significant examples:
PCGS MS-63 (illustrated above).  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, June 5-7, 2000, Lot 2202 "Weak C" @ $20,700.00 "to the book"

PCGS MS-63.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 8972, plated, unsold

NGC MS-62 (illustrated below).  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, June 5-7, 2000, Lot 2203 "Weak C" @ $11,500.00 "to the book"

NGC MS-62.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part III", May 21, 2001, Lot 224, illustrated, not sold

NGC MS-61 (illustrated below).  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "The California Sale", October 2-3, 2000, Lot 909, sold for $7,762.00; Ira & Larry Goldberg Coin & Collectibles' "The Fairchild Family Trust Collection Sale", May 28-30, 2001, Lot 1390, illustrated, sold for $6,325.00, where it was described (in part) as follows: "The surfaces show extensive luster in the fields, and a few minor hairlines from handling over the last 146 years. Delightful copper toning has started to form in the lower reverse lettering while the obverse is still untoned. Boldly struck and with definition on all but the small curls over Liberty's ear. As with most seen of the date, the mintmark is weak, but clearly present above the VE of FIVE on the reverse. The reverse die had clashed with the obverse when this one was struck, thus Liberty has the eagle's wing protruding from her mouth into the left field, with the upper outline of the wing extends from her throat...Identifiable by a minor tick mark that lies at a 45 degree angle down on the right horizontal shield stripes, and currently in NGC holder #569252-040."

Recent appearances:
NGC MS-61.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 4022, illustrated, sold for $4,370.00

EF-45.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 442, "Strong C", illustrated, sold for $1,150.00  From Superior's sale of February 1973, Lot 427

Notes:
The finest example graded by PCGS is a single MS-63.

The finest "Weak C" example graded by PCGS is a single MS-63.

Varieties:
Weak Mintmark
Strong Mintmark

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

    

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries

Obverse of 1854-C Half Eagle     Reverse of 1854-C Half Eagle

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

    

Images courtesy of Superior Galleries
  

Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, June 5-7, 2000, Lot 2205 @ $4,485.00 "to the book".  On this reverse die, the mintmark is bold and shifted to the left; most show a die crack through the first S of STATES; later states show an additional crack through the C of AMERICA.