Date 1859 Grade PCGS AU58 PCGS Price Guide 4000 Population (PCGS) 12/2 Population (NGC) 14/7 Serial Number 8280.58/85192925 PCGS Lookup Number 8280
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$5.00 - 1859 PCGS AU58 - $3500
SCARCE, OVERLOOKED PCGS AU58 1859 HALF EAGLE
The 1859 is one of the hardest Philadelphia half eagles struck before the Civil War to locate, trailing only the two varieties of 1842. It is not generally seen in grades finer than AU55 to AU58 with likely no more than three to five known in Uncirculated and none of these finer than MS62. Despite its rarity in AU58, it is affordable and I feel it is well undervalued.
This slightly reflective example shows nice yellow-gold and light russet hues with very light friction in the left obverse field keeping it from a significantly higher grade. Unlike virtually every 1859 half eagle I have seen, this piece is not overly abraded and there are actually no detracting marks save for some contact near star ten.
Curiously, there are eight APR's for PCGS AU58 1859 half eagles (this includes some duplication) with only three records for the decade prior to this. Most likely a small hoard has entered the market but most are low end for the grade. Heritage 6/17: 4833 brought only $2,820 but it was low-end; a nicer PCGS AU58+ realized $4,935 in the Heritage 2017 FUN sale.
At less than $4,000 this piece represents great value, especially when measured against more common but higher-priced Charlotte and Dahlonega half eagles of this era.