SOLD – $10.00 – 1839 Small Letters, Head of 40 NGC AU53

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SOLD – $10.00 – 1839 Small Letters, Head of 40 NGC AU53


Serial Number 452313-005

PCGS Lookup Number 8580

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Head of 1840; Small Letters reverse.

Two types of 1839 eagle are known. The more common, by far, is the Head of 1838 with Large Letters on the reverse. The rarer is the Head of 1840. In fact, this is one of the rarest Liberty Head eagles; I rank it in the Top Ten for the entire series and this is saying something given how many rare issues exist in the Ten Libs. There are around 50-60 known in all grades with most in the VF-EF range. In AU, the 1839 Head of 1840 is very rare with probably fewer than 10 known. There are two Uncirculated pieces including a PCGS MS63, ex Pittman, which is one of my single favorite United States gold coins.

This is a beautiful example for the issue with uncommonly good eye appeal. There is a good deal of mint luster seen on both sides and the color, a deep golden-orange shade with the reverse very vibrant, is exceptional. here are a few small marks which limit the grade and what appear to be scratches below the date are raised die lines which are diagnostic to the issue.

The last AU53 to sell at auction was Heritage 4/12: 5300 which brought $13,800. That coin, while original and attractive, had no luster and I felt it was closer to EF45/AU50 in terms of quality.

This issue has long been one of my very favorite coins in one of my very favorite series and it is the best 1839 Head of 1840 I have handled in quite a few years.