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1874 Liberty Head Half Eagle Obverse     1874 Liberty Head Half Eagle Reverse


PCGS Nos: 8333, 8469


Circulation strikes: 3,488
Proofs: 20

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, PA) below the eagle on the reverse

Images courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

The 1874 Half Eagle is a rare date as either a circulation strike or a Proof.  Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated examples can be found with relative ease, but Mint State examples are extremely rare.  To date, PCGS has certified only three Mint State 1874 Half Eagles (1 in MS-60, 1 in MS-61, and 1 in MS-63).

PCGS has certified only 4 Proof 1874 Half Eagles, the finest of which is a single PR-65.  No Cameo Proof 1874 Half Eagles have been certified by PCGS.

Significant examples:
Proof (illustrated above).  Ex - Trompeter collection.

PCGS Proof-65
- Paramount 07/1985:1440
- Bowers and Merena "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale" 11/2000:520, $41,400.00 - Offered by Albanese Rare Coins, Inc. in the December 30, 2003 issue of Numismatic News for $55,000.00, sold for $55,000.00

Recent appearances:
PCGS MS-61.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 521, illustrated, not sold  From Lester Merkin's sale of March 1969, Lot 321

MS-60 Prooflike.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Cabinet of Lucien M. LaRiviere, Part II", March 15-17, 2001, Lot 146 Not sold

AU-58 Prooflike.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1268, illustrated, sold for $2,760.00

NGC AU-50.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7605, not illustrated, not sold

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen

"The PCGS Population Report, January 2005" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

Email message from Dean Albanese on 2/1/2005