Half Eagle -> 1848-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

This is an unusual date in that high grade specimens are, on a comparative basis, far more rare than one might expect, given the relatively high number of surviving specimens. Part of the reason for this date's rarity in higher grades is the fact that most are not well struck. The hair around the face is almost always weak while the leg feathers and claws are also indistinct. The surfaces are often heavily marked, as this is an issue which was heavily circulated. The luster on some is frosty while a few are semi-prooflike. Many have been cleaned and because of this, it is very hard to find an 1848-C half eagle with nice color. Between 145 and 155 exist with over three quarters of these grading Extremely Fine or lower. Just 16-18 About Uncirculated coins are known and most are in the lower ranges of this grade. Three or four Mint State pieces are known, including the one which is illustrated above.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex Elrod collection, Bowers and Ruddy Eliasberg collection (10/82): 449. Graded MS-63 by NGC. The plate coin in the first edition of this book.
  2. Private collection, ex Lee Minshull/Tangible Investments of America (Sil di Genova), 7/96. Graded MS-62 by PCGS.
  3. Paul Dingler collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 472, Ed Milas collection, Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 8/91: 708. Graded MS-61 by PCGS. The coin illustrated on this web site.
  4. (tie) Chicago collection, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull inventory, 1/98, graded AU-58 by PCGS (and) Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 5/89 GNA sale: 1517. About Uncirculated-58.
  5. (tie) A small group of coins which grade AU-55. These include three coins graded AU-55 by both PCGS and NGC as of December, 1997.