Half Eagle -> 1855-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 1855-C has a mintage figure which is nearly identical to the 1854-C. In spite of this, the 1855-C is much more available, except in very high grades. The quality of strike is above average for a Charlotte half eagle of this era. The obverse is mostly sharp although not all the curls around the face are complete. The reverse is less sharp with weakness often seen on the eagle's head and lower neck feathers. The surfaces almost always have a "choppy" appearance as a result of heavy local commercial use. The luster is frosty and appears better than on other dates of this era. The coloration on uncleaned pieces is a medium to deep green gold. It has become very hard to find an 1855-C half eagle with natural color as most have been cleaned or dipped. Still, the collector should be able to find a satisfactory example if he is patient. There are 140-150 known with over 80% grading Extremely Fine or lower. Approximately 21-22 exist in the various About Uncirculated grades and there are three or four Mint State coins. One of these is illustrated below.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex Elrod collection. Graded MS-65 by NGC. This is among the finest known Charlotte half eagles of any date.
  2. Private collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 496, Ed Milas, Stack's Garrett sale (3/76): 379, Thomas Elder's Wilharm sale (2/21): 307. Graded MS-63 by NGC.
  3. Paul Dingler collection, ex David Akers/RARCOA 8/91: 997. Later graded MS-61 by PCGS. The coin illustrated on this web site.
  4. Private collection, ex Casey Noxon, Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 1991 FUN sale (1/91): 1835 (where graded AU-58 by NGC). Later graded MS-60 by PCGS.
  5. (tie) A group of approximately three or four pieces which grade AU-58. These include the following:
    • Chicago collector, 8/96, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull. Graded AU-58 by NGC.
    • North Georgia collection. Graded AU-58 by NGC.