The 1863 is the rarest No Motto half eagle from the Philadelphia mint and it is one of the rarer dates of this entire design type. There are fewer than 50 known from the original mintage figure of just 2,442 and most are seen in the EF40 to AU50 range. It is likely that fewer than dozen properly graded About Uncirculated pieces exist and this date appears to be unique with the sole example known a PCGS MS61.
This fresh to the market example is among the most original 1863 half eagles that I have seen or sold. It shows natural medium russet hues on both sides and it does not appear to have ever been cleaned or dipped. Most surviving 1863 half eagles show extensive marks on the surfaces and this piece is much cleaner than normal with the most serious mark noted in the reverse field behind the eagle’s neck. The eye appeal is exceptional for the issue.
Only two PCGS AU55 1863 half eagles have sold at auction since 1999 with the last appearance recorded in June 2003. An NGC AU55, without CAC approval, realized $25,850 as Heritage 4/14: 5748.
This is an extremely important coin for the Liberty Head half eagle specialist or the Civil War gold coin collector.
CAC has approved this one coin in AU55 with just one finer (60). A total of four 1863 half eagle business strikes have been approved by CAC.