The 1861 is far and away the most available Civil War half eagle and by virtue of its high mintage, it is among the more available No Motto issues of this denomination. It is available in grades up to MS62/63 but it is very scarce in MS64 and rare in Gem. The finest known, a PCGS MS66, sold for $152,750 in the Heritage 4/15 auction and soon after was upgraded to PCGS MS67 where it sold privately for a figure in excess of $200,000.
This is the finest 1861 half eagle which I have owned since the PCGS MS65 I sold back in 2009. It is very well struck and frosty with the grainy texture seen on unmolested examples of this issue. The obverse is a light rose-gold hue while the reverse shows a splash of intense natural straw-gold. There are a few small singular obverse marks which narrowly remove this coin from consideration at the MS65 level–and a $35,000+ price tag.
Another CAC approved PCGS MS64+ 1861 half eagle sold for $12,650 as Heritage 2/11: 4469. This was prior to the big surge in collector demand for choice, attractive Civil War gold coinage and none has crossed the block since this.
Unless you are holding out for a Gem example, this wonderful 1861 half eagle should fit well into nearly any Civil War gold set.