1866-S WM $5.00 PCGS EF40

With Motto variety. 1866 is an important transitional year in American numismatics. During this year, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse of all coins large enough to fit it. While the transition was smooth in Philadelphia, it didn't go as well in San Francisco and issues are known with both No Motto and With Motto reverses. In the half eagle series, the With Motto 1866-S half eagle is the more available of the two with a reasonably high mintage of 34,920. Many of these were melted, however, and the 1866-S WM half eagle is very rare above EF40. This example is totally original and problem-free with nicely blended green-gold, rose and orange-gold hues atopn clean, problem-free surfaces. The stars at the left are weak as a result of an uneven strike; this is common for this issue. Since 1982, only five EF40 examples of this date have been sold at auction. No PCGS EF40's have sold since Superior 9/98: 2065, which brought $1,955 well over a decade ago. Coins like this are being recognized (finally!) as true scarcities but they are still very good values.
Br> From the RYK Collection.