1876 $5.00 NGC AU55 CAC

With a mintage of just 1,432 coins, the 1876 half eagle is a very scarce issue in all grades. What is interesting about this date is its grade distribution. When available, the 1876 either tends to come very worn and very ugly or very nice (MS62 to MS65). It is sometimes available in high grades due to a small group of five or six pieces that was found a few years ago and, in fact, a nice PCGS MS62+ from this source just sold at the Stack's Bowers 2012 ANA auction for $16,450. The present example has a look that is seldom found on circulated 1876 half eagles: one that is totally original with deep natural green-gold and rose hues on the obverse and the reverse. The surfaces are very clean with just a few tiny scattered marks; a tiny obverse rim bump at 11:00 is barely visible. After years of neglect, coins such as this are becoming appreciated for their rarity and the 1876 is among the rarer half eagles ever produced at the Philadelphia mint.

This is currently the only 1876 half eagle in any grade that has been approved by CAC.

1876 $1.00 NGC MS64+ CAC

This popular Centennial year issue has an original mintage of only 3,200 business strikes. It is a scarce coin in this grade yet it remains affordable. This particular example has the look of a Gem but there are a few very light scuffs on the obverse that are hard to see without magnification.

As of June 2012, this is the only MS64+ example of this date graded by NGC.

1876 $1.00 NGC PR65 CAM

Only 45 struck. Of these, there are probably no more than twenty or so known with most in the PR64 to PR65 range. This piece is easily recognizable as a Proof on account of its reflective surfaces and a small die line running out to the right from the base of the right foot in the first A in AMERICA. Both the obverse and the reverse show very deep natural toning; the kind that you used to see from time to time on Proof gold before so many coins were dipped in order to gain a Cameo or Deep Cameo designation. The underlying fields appear to be choice with just a few old lines. An attractive example of a rare, historically significant issue.

Ex Heritage 10/11: 4628 where it sold for $16,100