Half Eagle -> 1840-C


  • Half Eagle 1838 - 1861
  • Liberty Head 1839 - 1861
  • Diameter: 22.5 millimeters
  • Fineness: .900
  • Weight: 129 grains
  • Designer: Christian Gobrecht
  • Edge: Reeded
  • Coiner: John R. Bolton

The third and final type of half eagle from Charlotte was introduced in 1840. On the obverse, the portrait shows subtle but definite modifications from the design employed in 1839. The most significant change is the placement of the mintmark on the reverse, where it would stay on all coins from this design until it was discontinued in 1908. The 1840-C is one of the rarest and worst produced Charlotte half eagles. It is often found with a very soft strike and extremely abraded surfaces. Some pieces were struck on poorly prepared planchets and shows cracks or defects on the planchet. An estimated 70-80 coins exist with only 8-10 in About Uncirculated grades plus one or two in Mint State. The condition conscious collector will find the 1840-C to be one of the true "stoppers" in his or her set.

Condition Census

  1. California dealer's inventory, ex David Akers Numismatics' John Jay Pittman Collection sale, Part One (10/97): 949, Sotheby's King Farouk sale (3/54): 249, Col. E.H.R. Green collection. Mint State-64. Later graded MS-64 by NGC. This coin sold for $77,000 in the Pittman sale.
  2. Paul Dingler collection, ex Elrod collection. Graded About Uncirculated-58 by PCGS and very choice for the grade. The plate coin in this book.
  3. Private collection, ex Stack's/Akers/RARCOA Numisma 95 (11/95): 1453 (at $14,300), Stack's 5/95: 436 (at $16,500), Ed Milas collection, Stack's 10/94: 1089 (at $16,500), James Stack collection. Graded MS-60 by NGC.
  4. Private collection, ex New York Gold Mart (Ron Karp), Heritage 1996 ANA: 8995. Later graded AU-58 by NGC.
  5. North Georgia collection. About Uncirculated-55 or slightly better. Railroad rim error. Unique.