Half Eagle -> 1838-C


  • Half Eagles 1838 - 1861
  • Classic Head 1838
  • Diameter: 22.5 millimeters
  • Fineness: .900
  • Weight: 129 grains
  • Designer: William Kneass
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Coiner: John R. Bolton

This is among the most desirable Charlotte issues for a variety of reasons. It is the first half eagle struck at this mint and the only one employing William Kneass' Classic Head design. It is one of only two Charlotte half eagles with the mintmark on the obverse. And, it is one of the rarest coins from this mint in high grades. While more available in Very Fine and low-end Extremely Fine than sometimes acknowledged, the 1838-C is extremely rare in any About Uncirculated grade with just six to eight known. In Mint State, it is profoundly rare with only two specimens known. Most show poor strikes, especially on the reverse. An original, high grade 1838-C half eagle is considered an essential part of any advanced collection of Charlotte half eagles.

Condition Census

  1. Texas collection, acquired from a Texas dealer at the 1991 ANA convention, ex: Akers/RARCOA 8/91: 987, Andrew Lustig, Superior 10/89: 4378, various dealers, Stack's 4/78: 853. Graded MS-63 by NGC.
  2. North Georgia collection, ex Stack's (CITE 1994 SALE). Graded MS-61 by NGC.
  3. Bowers and Ruddy 10/82 Eliasberg sale: 406, ex Clapp, Massamore. AU-55. The present location of this coin is not known to the author.
  4. (tie) A pair of coins graded AU-53 by PCGS. One of these is ex Heritage 1994 ANA: 5655.
  5. (tie) A small group of coins which grade AU-50. These include the example that was in the Elrod collection; it was graded AU-50 by NGC.