The Reconstruction Era half eagles from the Philadelphia mint are, with the exception of the 1873, very rare. The 1874 is no exception and this unheralded issue has an original mintage of only 3,488 business strikes. I believe that around 60-80 examples are known with most in the VF-EF range. There are at least three examples in Uncirculated of which this piece could well be the second best. It has a superb natural appearance with delicate rose-gold hues and lovely semi-prooflike luster. A few very light ticks in the obverse fields narrowly keep this piece from a 63 grade but the visual appeal suggests a higher grade and it represents amazing quality for the date and grade. The only finer example I have ever seen is Bass II: 1194 that brought a strong $20,125 back in 1999; that coin was resold as Heritage 11/06: 2229 where it went reasonably at $20,700. Coins like this are almost never offered for sale anymore via private treaty and this is an important potential addition to a world-class set of Liberty Head half eagles.