1864-S $5.00 PCGS VF30

The 1864-S is the second rarest business strike Liberty Head half eagle, trailing only the 1875. Of the 3,888 struck there are probably not more than two dozen or so known and with most of these off the market in tightly-held collections, it can be years between offerings. I have only handled two examples in the last five years and one of these was in a "genuine" holder. This piece has good overall detail for the date and grade with splashes of coppery color seen at the obverse border and at the right reverse. There are a few marks seen in the fields as one would expect from a coin in a 30 holder but nothing terribly detracting and the overall eye appeal level is better than you might expect. No 1864-S half eagles have appeared at auction since a PCGS VF35 (with a gigantic abrasion right on Liberty's cheek) in February 2009 and PCGS has a population of just fifteen in all grades. An important coin.