Half Eagle -> 1849-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 final issue from the 1840's is also the most obtainable Charlotte half eagle from this decade. The 1849-C is one of the best struck half eagles from this mint. It is possible to locate a coin which is fully struck or very nearly so. The surfaces are typically marked but some exist which are comparably clean. The luster is often very frosty and high grade specimens are known which show superb original mint bloom. The natural coloration is a lovely green-gold. Some have been seen with a medium to deep yellow and orange-gold coloration. This issue is good for type purposes due to its relative availability in high grades and its high level of manufacture. There are 185-195 known with about 80% of these grading Extremely Fine or below. Around three dozen are currently accounted for in the various About Uncirculated grades as well as another seven to nine in Mint State.

Condition Census

  1. Stack's 12/78 Bareford collection sale: 171, ex Mehl Atwater sale (6/46): 1763. Mint State-64. This is probably the coin graded MS-64 by NGC.
  2. An example owned by Kevin Lipton in 1995. This was graded MS-63 by PCGS.
  3. An example graded MS-63 by NGC. I am not aware of the pedigree or the location of this coin.
  4. An example graded MS-62 by NGC in January, 1989. Again, I am not aware of the location or the pedigree of this coin.
  5. (tie). A small group of examples which grade Mint State-60 or better. These include the following:
    • Paul Dingler collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 476, Ed Milas collection. Graded MS-61 by NGC. The coin illustrated in this web site.
    • An example owned by Mike Brownlee which was exhibited at the 1995 ANA convention. This coin was graded MS-61 by NGC.
    • North Carolina collection, ex Doug Winter, 1996, graded MS-61 by PCGS.

NOTE: The example sold as Lot 990 in part one of the John J. Pittman sale (David Akers Numismatics, Inc., 10/97) was a full Mint State-64 but it was noticeably bent from having been struck by an object at the base of the neck. In spite of this, it still sold to a dealer for $23,100 who, no doubt, was certain he would be able to straighten it.