Varieties of 1842 eagle are known with a Small Date and a Large Date. The former is at least three times scarcer and there are likely fewer than 100 known, mostly in the EF40 to AU53 range. In Uncirculated, this variety is extremely rare with four or five known including a PCGS MS63 (which I have never seen) and a PCGS MS62, ex Bass II at $18,400 all the way back in 1999.
This fresh to the market example is the first Uncirculated 1842 Small Date eagle that I have offered for sale. It is strictly free of wear with no luster breaks in the fields or rub on the high spots. The surfaces are lightly abraded as one might expect but lack any serious deep marks. The luster is frosty and appealing while the color is a nice natural light yellow-gold which is “right” for this date.
Heritage 7/14: 3948, also graded MS61 by PCGS, brought $16,450. No other PCGS graded Uncirculated 1842 Small date eagle has sold at auction in close to two decades.
This is an extremely important coin for the advanced collector of Liberty Head eagles.