1864 $5.00 NGC AU58 CAC

The Civil War half eagles from 1862 to 1865 are all very rare due to low original mintage figures and heavy melting. The 1864 is no exception and there are probably no more than 50-75 survivors from the original mintage of 4,170 business strikes. This date is seldom available for sale and when it is, it tends to be in lower grades and with heavy abrasions that lead to poor eye appeal. This example is one of the two best that I have seen in the past five years, along with Heritage 9/11: 4316, graded AU55 by PCGS, that sold for $9,200. It it slightly prooflike with some frost in the fields and nice light orange-gold color that deepens to rose at the borders. The fields are a bit scuffy but not nearly as much as is typical for the date. There is a small amount of wear on the high spots and the overall eye appeal is above average for the date. The two most recent APRs for AU58 1864 half eagles (both are NGC graded) are $7,475; one for Heritage 3/09: 2954 and the other for Heritage 2006 ANA: 1874. The present example is a nicer coin and the market for rare, low mintage half eagles is clearly better now than it was a few years back. An exciting coin for the specialist.

This is the only example of this date in AU58 that has been approved by CAC. None graded higher have been approved.