Half Eagle -> 1850-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 quality of strike varies greatly on the 1850-C half eagle. There are some known with sharp overall strikes including good definition on the hair of Liberty and the eagle's feathers. Others are very weak at the centers. Nearly every known example has heavily marked surfaces and some show mint-made planchet defects. The luster tends to be frosty while the color on uncleaned specimens ranges from rich green-gold to yellow-gold. There are a number of 1850-C half eagles which have an extremely weak mintmark. These are not as desirable as those which show a strongly punched mintmark. An estimated 160-170 specimens are known. About three quarters of these grade Extremely Fine or below. There are about three dozen in the various About Uncirculated grades and as many as six or seven in Mint State.

Condition Census

  1. RARCOA inventory, 1996-97, repurchased from the Stack's 5/95 sale, lot 479, Ed Milas collection, probably earlier sold as Lot 172 in Stack's 12/78 Bareford sale and before that in Mehl's 6/46 Atwater sale, Lot 1764. Weak mintmark. Graded MS-64 by PCGS; earlier graded the same by NGC.
  2. Paul Dingler collection, ex Elrod collection, Bowers and Ruddy Eliasberg collection (10/82): 455. Graded MS-62 by PCGS. Strong mintmark. The coin illustrated on this web site.
  3. North Georgia collection. Graded MS-61 by PCGS and very choice for the grade. Strong mintmark.
  4. (tie) A group of three or four other Mint State coins which include the following:
    • New York Gold Mart (Ron Karp) inventory, ex David Akers Numismatics' John Jay Pittman collection sale, Part One (10/97), King Farouk sale (10/54):251, Col. Green collection. Later graded MS-60 by NGC.
    • Private collection, ex New York Gold Mart inventory, 1995, ex Stack's 11/94: 1409. Sharpness of Mint State-60 or better but cleaned. Later graded MS-62 by NGC.
    • Private collection, ex Ed Milas, Stack's 3/91: 1047. Later graded MS-62 by NGC.
    • Charlotte Mint Museum, Mint State-60 or better. This coin could potentially grade as high as Mint State-63.