1839-C $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC

After many years of neglect, both the 1839-C and 1839-D half eagles have gained respect as one-year types. The 1839-C has become highly sought-after not only by collectors of Charlotte gold and half eagles specialists but by collectors looking for neat, "significant" coins. The present example is the second high grade 1839-C half eagle that I have been fortunate to handle in the last three months (after many years of going without one) and it is among the nicest circulated 1839-C half eagles that I can recall having seen. To the naked eye, this coin has the look of an MS61 due to its thick, satiny luster and lovely natural yellowish-gold and orange hues. It is remarkably well struck with great detail on the obverse and the reverse and the surfaces are very clean with just a few microscopic ticks visible below magnification. If you can find an Uncirculated 1839-C half eagle it is likely to cost more than double the amount of this lustrous, nearly Mint State piece. A great addition to a collection that is focused on coins with character. This is currently the only 1839-C half eagle graded AU55 that has been approved by CAC.

In Heritage's 8/11 auction, a non-CAC 1839-C half eagle in PCGS AU55 realized $9,775.

1839-C $5.00 NGC AU58

After employing the Classic Head design for just one year, the Charlotte mint produced the first of the Gobrecht Liberty Heads in 1839 only. This design is readily identifiable by a different configuration of the portrait and the presence of the mintmark on the obverse. As a date, the 1839-C is only the ninth rarest of twenty-four half eagles from this mint but it is the sixth rarest in high grades. In AU55 and above, this is an extremely scarce coin. The present example shows nice natural green-gold color with some deeper reddish-orange hues at the borders. The strike is bold and there are just a few light abrasions viisble on the surfaces. A small obverse rim nick at 10:00 doesn't detract; a small rim cud below the 18 in the date is as made. An important one-year type that, along with the 1839-D, is one of the few Southern branch mint half eagles that has multiple levels of demand.