1838-C $5.00 PCGS AU50

The 1838-C isn't the rarest half eagle from this mint (that would be the 1842-C Small Date) but it is certainly the most popular and this is clearly due to its twin status as a first-year-of-issue and a one-year type that features the Classic Head design. The 1838-C, even more than its counterpart the 1838-D, is a condition rarity. It is fairly available in VF and EF grades but it is genuinely scarce in properly graded AU50 to AU55 and extremely rare in Uncirculated. This nice example is one of the best 1838-C half eagles that I've offered for sale in quite some time. It is very lustrous with nice light green-gold and yellow color and enough "meat" to more than justify its AU50 grade by PCGS. As is common for this issue, the surfaces are noticeably abraded (the 1838-C half eagle is almost never seen with choice surfaces) but other than a small line on the face of Liberty, there are none that are really worthy of mention. Interestingly, there have been no auction prices realized for a PCGS AU50 example of the 1838-C half eagle since February 2003 and there are records of more than $10,000 for slabbed AU50's of this issue that date back as far as 1998. Branch mint coins that are numismatically significant are currently in strong demand and I expect that this nice 1838-C half eagle will prove interesting to many collectors.