1838-D $5.00 PCGS MS62

The 1838-D is certainly not the rarest half eagle from this mint (this honor belongs to the 1842-D Large Date and the 1861-D) but it is clearly the most popular. This is due to its twin status as a first-year-of-issue and the only Classic Head half eagle from this mint. The 1838-D has become incredibly hard to locate in higher grades, due to the extreme popularity of this issue with multiple buyers: type coin collectors, fancy coin collectors, Classic Head specialists, half eagle collectors and, of course, Dahlonega dudes. There are around ten to twelve known in Uncirculated but the only one that has been available in the past few years is the wonderful Heritage 1/11: 5105 coin, graded MS63 by PCGS, which sold for $57,500. The last example in MS62 to sell is this coin which was last offered in 2007 (see the pedigree below) and none had been offered for a few years before this. The present example is unusual in that it is prooflike and especially well struck; this suggests that it may have been among the very first made and most 1838-D half eagles have a frosty texture. The color is light green-gold and there are not many marks on the surfaces save for a few scattered marks in the obverse fields. I don't often say this but passing on the coin could result in waiting another five years or more in locating a good qualty high grade 1838-D. If you need to fill this hole in your collection of Dahlonega half eagles, consider the opportunity cost!

ex Heritage 2007 ANA: 1919 where it sold for $37,375