Half Eagle -> 1853-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 the final issue of Charlotte half eagle which has a comparably high original mintage figure. It is one of the more common issues in this series and it is popular as a type coin. The quality of strike is above average. Most show some weakness at the centers but the majority of the details are well defined. The surfaces show the usual heavy bagmarks but this is sometimes compensated for by outstanding satiny luster. The natural coloration can be as attractive as that seen on any coin from this mint but, unfortunately, many high grade pieces have been cleaned or dipped in recent years. There are between 185 and 195 coins known with three dozen grading About Uncirculated. Another eight to ten Mint State coins are known and these are greatly coveted by date and type collectors. The specimen illustrated below is the third finest known.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, graded MS-64 by NGC.
  2. Private collection, 1997, ex California dealer, Doug Winter/Lee Minshull, southern dealer. Graded MS-63 by PCGS.
  3. Paul Dingler collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 489, Ed Milas, various dealer intermediaries, Stack's Bareford Sale (12/78), Numismatic Gallery 3/48: 438, "J.F. Bell" collection, Numismatic Gallery "World's Greatest Collection" (F.C.C. Boyd) 1/46: 488. Graded MS-63 by PCGS. The coin illustrated on this web site.
  4. Private collection, ex Elrod collection. Graded MS-62 by NGC. It is possible that this coin was earlier sold as Lot 932 in Paramount's session of Auction 80.
  5. (tie) North Georgia collection. A pair of coins grading MS-61. One has been graded by PCGS while the other has been graded by NGC.

Approximately two to four other Mint State 1853-C half eagles exist. These include the following:

  • An example graded MS-61 by NGC which was last sold in an October 1991 Teletrade sale. It was earlier sold as Lot 1829 in Mid American's 1/91 sale, where it was in a PCGS AU-58 holder.
  • Christie's 5/2/89: 89, later graded MS-61 by PCGS.