Half Eagle -> 1857-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 relative availability of the 1857-C half eagle in higher grades suggests that there may have been a very small hoard at one time. If this is true, these coins are well dispersed and the opportunity to purchase a choice example does not occur with regularity. The quality of strike is above average with most having good definition on the hair of Liberty and on the eagle's feathers. The surfaces show the usual digs, marks and scuffs seen on nearly all of the half eagles from this mint. The luster is above average with high grade examples possessing a pleasing thick frostiness. The natural coloration ranges from deep green gold to a medium orange gold hue. Coins with original color are very hard to find. Of the 145-155 pieces in existence, around one hundred of these grade Extremely Fine or below. There are approximately three dozen in About Uncirculated plus a group of seven to nine in Mint State.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex Elrod collection, possibly earlier sold as Lot 1505 in the 7/76 New England Rare Coin Auction sale. Graded MS-64 by NGC.
  2. Private collection, ex Midwestern dealer, New York Gold Mart (Ron Karp), Stack's 5/95: 506, Ed Milas. Graded MS-63 by NGC.
  3. Bass collection, ex Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 8/91: 723. Graded MS-62 by NGC.
  4. (tie) A pair of coins graded MS-62 by PCGS. One of these was last sold as Lot 1793 in the Stack's 5/90 sale and was later sold by Doug Winter to an eastern collector.
  5. (tie) Paul Dingler collection, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull, 9/97. Graded MS-61 by PCGS. The coin illustrated on this web site (and) A second coin graded MS-61 by PCGS. I have not seen this piece and am not aware of its pedigree or current location (and) Doug Winter/Lee Minshull inventory, ex Heritage 1998 FUN sale: 7811, Donald Carter collection, graded MS-61 by NGC.

An NGC Mint State-60 coin is in a North Georgia collection.