1869-S $10.00 PCGS VF35 CAC

If a coin graded VF35 could be called a "gem" this would be it as the appearance is extremely pleasing. The obverse and reverse have an almost cameo-like look with the green-gold devices contrasted by deep russet hues at the borders. Unlike most San Francisco eagles from this era, the surfaces are remarkably clean and PCGS was pretty tough on this coin as it certainly seems to have as much detail as many other comparable coins from this era that I have seen in EF40 holders. Only 6,430 examples were made and there are probably fewer than 100 known in all grades. This coin is a wonderfully affordable combination of true rarity and great appearance.

CAC has approved just this one example in VF35 with two approved in grades higher than this.

From the RYK Collection.

1847-O $5.00 PCGS VF35

The 1847-O is the single rarest New Orleans half eagle and it is an issue that compares favorably to such Southern rarities as the 1842-C Small Date and 1842-D Large Date half eagles. There are probably no more than four to five dozen known in all grades with most in the VF-EF range. There have been just three VF35 examples sold at auction since 1999 with the range of prices widely going from $3,738 to $5,520. The last APR for a VF35 was Heritage 12/11: 4547 (an NGC coin) that sold for $4,025. This Choice VF example has an obverse that is essentially a full Extremely Fine in terms of its appearance while the reverse shows a bit more wear. The eye appeal is quite pleasing for the date and grade and I have seen inferior examples of this issue in EF40 holders. After many years of neglect, the true rarity of the 1847-O half eagle has become widely known but this issue remains a good value in all grades.

1802/1 $5.00 NGC VF35 CAC

Early gold tended not to circulate extensively and, as a result, it is very hard to find coins like Bust Right half eagles in grades below EF45. This piece shows a decent amount of wear but it is surprisingly original and free of problems. In fact, the detail is suggestive of an EF40 to EF45 coin but it appears that NGC deducted some points on the grading scale due to some old marks clustered in the obverse fields. Both sides are well-detailed and show nice old green-gold color which is contrasted by flashes of reddish-gold and sunset orange. I doubt that are many more early half eagles in this grade range that are pleasing enough to merit a CAC sticker and this is essentially the best available quality in today market at less than $7,500. If you have been looking for a coin of this sort, I'd urge you to give me a call ASAP as it could be some time before I find another!

1847-O $5.00 PCGS VF35 CAC

The 1847-O is the single rarest half eagle from the New Orleans mint both in terms of overall and high grade rarity. It is a rarer coin than such as issues as the 1842-D Large Date and 1861-D half eagles, despite selling for a considerable discount to both of these. The present example is quite conservatively graded, in my opinion, and looks to be closer to an EF40 or even a bit better. It is among the few 1847-O half eagles that I have seen with original color and surfaces and about the only negative thing I can say about it is the fact that the mintmark is a bit weakly impressed on the right side. Both sides show nice green-gold color and the overall eye appeal is far above-average for the issue. An excellent opportunity to purchase a truly rare coin for less than the price of many far more common issues.

Ex Littlejohn Collection (Lot 605) where it sold for $4,025

1851-D $5.00 NGC VF35

The 1851-D is one of the half dozen scarcest half eagles from this mint and it is far harder to find in all grades than such better known (and more expensive) issues as the 1838-D, 1839-D, 1846-D/D and 1860-D. This example is completely original and is just on the cusp of being a full EF40 coin. It shows deep, natural color on both sides and has good overall detail for the date and grade.

1842-D SD $5.00 PCGS VF35 CAC

Small Date variety. An attractive, evenly worn example with nearly enough to detail to grade EF40 but with a few old, well-hidden surface marks keeping this at the Choice VF level. On both sides, the color is a uniform deep green-gold. A scarce date in any grade and a very hard coin to locate with original color and surfaces. This is the only 1842-D Small Date half eagle in any grade below EF40 to have been approved by CAC.