Half Eagle -> 1842-C Small Date


  • 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

Two distinct varieties of half eagles were produced at the Charlotte Mint in 1842. The first of these has a Small Date. The second has a Large Date. Both varieties are considered to be integral members of the Charlotte gold series. We are listing each separately and providing illustrations of both varieties.

Approximately one month after the last 1842-C Small Date half eagles were coined, the mint switched to a Large Date obverse, as seen on the issues produced from 1843 through 1850. The reverse is the same one employed on the 1842-C Small Date. The 1842-C Large Date is decidedly more common but it is scarce and very underappreciated in high grades. Just 80-90 exist with a dozen or so in About Uncirculated and four in Mint State. The quality of strike on this variety is not very good. Most are seen with weak central details. The surfaces are often very heavily marked and the luster is impaired as a result of these marks. Coins with original color and good eye appeal are seldom available for sale.

Condition Census

  1. Paul Dingler collection, ex Elrod collection, New England Rare Coin Auctions 1/82: 1407, probably also ex Numismatic Gallery's "Memorable" sale (3/48): 426, Bell collection. Graded MS-62 by PCGS and very choice for the grade. The plate coin in this book and in the Akers book on half eagles (page 109). A strong case could be made for calling this the single most desirable Charlotte coin in existence.
  2. North Carolina collection (5/97), ex North Carolina dealer, Doug Winter/Ken Goldman. PCGS graded AU-58. Probably the sharpest struck example of this date known.
  3. Southern dealer's collection, graded AU-58 by NGC. Very choice for the grade.
  4. Private collection, ex Silvertowne, Stack's 12/94: 1401, R.T. Wilder collection. AU-55 and choice for the grade. Later graded AU-55 by PCGS.
  5. North Georgia collection, ex Winthrop Carner, Michigan dealer. Graded AU-58 by NGC.