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1884 Liberty Head Half Eagle Obverse     1884 Liberty Head Half Eagle Reverse
 


1884 FIVE DOLLARS
OR HALF EAGLE

PCGS Nos: 8364, 8479, 98479

Mintage:

Circulation strikes: 191,030
Proofs: 48

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

Significant examples:
Proof (illustrated above).  Purchased at the Mint on February 7, 1884 by T. H. Garrett - J.W. Garrett March 1976, Lot 484 at $3,000 - Paramount's session of Auction '79, Lot 319 at $8,000.00 - Trompeter collection.

NGC PCGS Proof-64.  Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, June 5-7, 2000, Lot 2232 at $20,700.00 "to the book"

Recent appearances:
PCGS Proof-65.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 548, illustrated, not sold  From Stack's sale of May 1974, Lot 457

PCGS MS-63.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 7270, illustrated, not sold

PCGS MS-63.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7616, illustrated, not sold

MS-61.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries' Robert W. Schwan Collection Sale, October 26-27, 2000, Lot 2368 Not Sold

Notes:
"Only 48 made, from a single pair of dies made January 3: 30 with sets January 19, 8 on February 29, 8 on June 28, 1 each in September and December. Probably fewer than a dozen survive.

Auction records are few; their prices realized reflect lack of appreciation of the extreme rarity of this date, especially compared to other dates 1880-1907. Recent auction records comprise only six coins: (1) our 3/2000:896, PCGS Proof 64 #6585849; (2) N. M. Kaufman:848, $2,750 (rim nicks); (3) Clapp, Eliasberg:563, $8,250; (4) RARCOA's session of Auction '88:1921, $9,900; (5) Superior Stamp & Coin Co., Inc.'s session of Auction '89:899, $9,900; (6) Ex Mint, 2/7/1884, T. H. Garrett, J.W. Garrett 3/76:484, $3,000, Paramount's session of Auction '79:319, $8,000, now in Trompeter set (NGC Proof 64); (7) Bowers 11/95:2082, PCGS Proof 63; (8) Stack's 5/98:161, "Very Choice"; (9) Bowers 8/99:748, PCGS Proof 64."

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

The finest Proof examples graded by PCGS are 2 PR-65's.

The finest Deep Cameo Proof examples graded by PCGS are 2 PRDC-64's.

- from the description of Lot 2232 in Superior Galleries' "Pre-Long Beach" Sale, June 5-7, 2000

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