Half Eagle -> 1861-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 1861-C half eagle is the final coin produced at the Charlotte Mint. It is believed that 887 were produced in May, 1861 under the supervision of the Confederacy. Unfortunately, there is no positive way to identify which coins were struck by the Union and which were struck by the Confederacy. This issue shows a much better strike than either the 1859-C or the 1860-C. There is often some minor weakness at the centers but the overall detail is much better than one might expect. The surfaces are always found with extremely heavy and deep marks. The luster is frosty but it is often disturbed due to the intensity of the marks in the fields. There are 95-105 known with about twenty in the various About Uncirculated grades. There are just two currently known in Mint State and one of these is illustrated below. The 1861-C is probably the most popular half eagle from this mint, due to its association with the Confederacy and its status as a final year of issue emission.

Condition Census

  1. Private collection, ex Elrod collection, New England Rare Coin Auctions 1/82: 1441. Graded MS-63 by NGC.
  2. Paul Dingler collection, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull. Graded MS-60 by PCGS. The coin illustrated on this web site.
  3. Stack's 10/94: 1173, ex James Stack collection. Believed to have later been graded AU-58 by PCGS.
  4. (tie). A group of approximately four to six coins which grade AU-55 or slightly better. These include the following:
    • California collection, ex Doug Winter/Lee Minshull, 3/97. Graded AU-55 by PCGS.
    • Private collection, ex Stack's 5/95: 523, Ed Milas collection. Graded AU-55 by NGC.
    • Mid American Rare Coin Auctions 8/91: 729. Graded AU-55 by NGC.