1841 $5.00 NGC MS64*

Early date Liberty Head half eagles just aren't supposed to look like this...but if you do want a No Motto example of this type with wonderful eye appeal, than the 1841 is a great choice. Not only is this date typically well made, there was a small hoard at one time (maybe eight to ten coins?) that grade MS64 to MS65 by today's standards and which are notable for their fantastic appearance(s). The present example is amazingly flashy with blazing frosty/semiprooflike hybrid luster and full cameo contrast on the obverse. There is a small cluster of marks behind the eagle's head that keeps this from grading MS65 but the eye appeal, as I mentioned above, is suggestive of a full 65. The first Gem that I can recall seeing of this date was the Milas: 439 coin (graded MS65 by NGC) that sold for $34,100 all the way back in 1995. Since then, other nice pieces have sold in the $20,000 range including two in the Bass sales (1999 and 2000) graded MS64 by PCGS. A stunning coin that would work well in nearly any type set of mid-19th century United States gold.

Note: The NGC and PCGS population figures for this date are well inflated due to resubmissions.