The rarity of the 1862-1865 Philadelphia half eagles has been misunderstood for decades. Despite low mintages and no real reason why any should have survived, these coins have traditionally been overlooked in favor of less rare branch mint issues. But the word is finally out on the 1864 half eagle and I, for one, think this coin's sudden appreciation with collectors is long overdue. Only 4,170 business strikes were made and I doubt if more than 60-80 are known in all grades. This date becomes very rare in properly graded AU50 and above and the last PCGS 53 to sell at auction was in May 2000. A PCGS 55 just sold for $9,200 in the last Heritage auction (9/11, lot 4316). This lightly toned example has splashes of tangerine-gold color on the obverse and reverse and is nicely detailed. There are a few marks on the obverse including a series of three small abrasions ( a reeding mark?) from the chin and a light mark or two on the cheek. A nice example of this Civil War rarity.