1794 Half Dime | PCGS VF35 CAC | Flowing Hair type (1794-1795)
Regular issue American coins began production in 1793 when half cents and cents were produced. Silver coin production began in 1794 with the introduction of three denominations: the half dime, half dollar and silver dollar. Of these three, the half dime is the most available and it is by far the most affordable.
There are an estimated 500-700 1794 half dimes in existence, in grades ranging from Poor to Gem Uncirculated. This issue did see circulation but because of its small intrinsic value, more first-year souvenirs were saved than with the larger denomination coins. Today, 1794 half dimes are highly collectible and they are popular with die variety specialists, half dime collectors, first-year-of-issue collectors and type collectors as well.
This lovely PCGS VF35 example is well detailed and it shows lovely deep multi-colored toning on the obverse and the reverse. It is very hard to find a 1794 half dime with this attractive coloration, especially in the popular VF-EF grade range.
PCGS has graded seven examples in VF35 with 119 higher. This is the only VF35 1794 half dime to have been approved by CAC.
It is impressive to think that this charismatic little coin, in above average condition and with CAC approval, can still be obtained for less than $10,000. A 1794 silver dollar in comparable condition is worth well over $250,000.
10¢ - 1846 PCGS VF25 CAC
As a date, the 1846 is one of the scarcer Philadelphia dimes of this type and it is generally seen in low grades and with problems.
This nice example has a circulated cameo appearance with medium grey and reddish-iridescent splashes framing lighter devices. The surfaces are free of significant marks or problems and with just a bit more detail on the head, I could see this coin in a VF30 holder.
No PCGS VF25's have sold at auction in recent years. An NGC VF20 brought $1,035 as Heritage 2/12: 7944 while a PCGS VF30 realized $1,380 as Heritage 4/12: 3768; both lacked CAC approval.
A solid and attractive example of this popular scarcity.
CAC has approved five in this grade and five finer.
Variety 4. Late die state with multiple cracks on both sides; struck from a dramatically rotated reverse.
The 1847-O quarter eagle is very common in circulated grades and only moderately scarce in MS60 to MS61. In properly graded MS63 it is very rare and I know of only two finer: a PCGS MS64 which is ex Bass II: 407 and an NGC MS65 which I sold to Blanchard & Co. via private treaty in 2002.
This rich yellow-gold example shows dynamic mint luster and a better strike than one might expect given the advanced die cracks seen on the obverse and the reverse. Both sides are free of nearly any visible marks and the heavy reverse rotation is visually striking.
In recent years, only one MS63 example of this date has sold at auction. Graded MS63 by PCGS, it sold for $14,950 in both October 2011 and March 2012.
With the few higher graded examples off the market in tightly held collections, this is likely the best 1847-O quarter eagle available to collectors.
$5.00 - 1856 PCGS MS61 CAC
The 1856 half eagle is very common in circulated grades but it is scarce in Uncirculated with an estimated three dozen known. Most are in the MS60-61 range and show signs of having been dipped or processed. Locating choice original examples is much more difficult than generally assumed.
This is a fresh, lovely example with natural russet-gold color atop frosty, lightly abraded surfaces. The strike is sharp and the eye appeal is excellent with the naked-eye appearance of a coin grading at least a point or two better.
Two CAC approved MS61 examples have sold at auction in the last two years (one NGC and one PCGS) and both realized $2,233. In my opinion, the present example is nicer.
Philadelphia No Motto half eagles are undervalued and their current affordability makes them an interesting choice to work on an extended date run.
CAC has approved nine with only three finer.
$5.00 - 1805 PCGS AU58 CAC
BD-1, High R-3. Close Date variety.
The 1805 is a slightly scarcer date in the Capped Bust Right type. It is seen less often than the 1802/1, 1803/2, 1806 Round 6 and the 1807 Bust Right yet it doesn't command a premium in circulated grades. This Gem Slider has the appearance of an MS61 coin with no readily visible wear, nearly full luster and nice green-gold and natural reddish-orange hues on the obverse and the reverse. The strike is above average for the variety and the eye appeal is as nice as one could hope for.
There have been three PCGS AU58's with CAC sold at auction, including this coin, and the highest APR is $14,950 for Heritage 1/12: 4659.
Choice early gold in this price range has become nearly impossible to find and this 1805 half eagle would make a superb type coin for the sophisticated collector.
CAC has approved five in this grade with 29 finer.
$20.00 - 1852 PCGS MS61 CAC
The 1852 is, along with the 1851, the easiest non-shipwreck Type One double eagle from the 1850's to locate in higher grades. It is seen from time to time in MS60 to MS61 but most examples are scuffy and bright from recent dippings. Natural surfaced coins are scarce and this date becomes extremely hard to locate in MS62 and above. For the collector who seeks a lot of bang for the buck, this MS61 should prove irresistible.
This coin has a very fresh, natural appearance with excellent luster and lovely rich orange-gold color. There are a few minor scuffs in the left obverse field which limit the grade but I can't recall having seen a nicer MS61 of this date in some time.
The last PCGS/CAC MS61 1852 double eagle to sell at auction was the Gilded Age: 12004 coin, sold by Stacks Bowers in August 2014, which realized $11,750. That coin was ok for the grade but the present example is, in my opinion, decidedly nicer.
A wonderful early date Type One in exceptional condition and a great addition to an advanced set.
CAC has approved 13 in this grade with seven finer.
1853-C $1.00 PCGS MS63 CAC
Type One gold dollars were made at the Charlotte mint from 1849 through 1853. The 1853-C is a scarce issue with just a few hundred known from the original mintage of just 11,515. This date is mostly seen in circulated grades and there are likely fewer than 20 known in Uncirculated, usually in the MS60 to MS62 range. Properly graded MS63's are very rare and there are only a few finer 1853-C gold dollars than the present coin.
This piece is pleasing and original with nice green-gold color and choice surfaces for the issue. There are a few areas of mint-made roughness seen on the planchet, but the overall quality is far above average for the date and grade.
PCGS has graded five in MS63 with not a single coin higher. CAC has approved three in MS63 and none above this. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $14,500 for an MS63 without CAC approval.
This is an important coin for the gold dollar specialist, the Charlotte mint collector, or a type enthusiast who wants one very nice, better date Charlotte dollar for his or her set.
1872 $3.00 PCGS AU58 CAC
Only 2,000 examples of this date were made for circulation. The 1872 is a scarce date in the three dollar series which is not often seen in grades higher than AU58 to MS61.
This is a very choice example for the grade with semi-prooflike surfaces which show nice green-gold color which deepens at the obverse border. Just the slightest amount of rub separates it from an Uncirculated grade and a much higher price tag.
PCGS has graded 46 examples in AU58 with 41 higher and it is likely that these figures are inflated by resubmissions. CAC has only approved five in AU58 with six finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $3,600 for a non-CAC AU58 1872 $3.00
This series is currently out of favor but it seems likely that it will regain the popularity it had with collectors in the 1990's and 2000's.
1805 $5.00 PCGS AU58 CAC
The Capped Bust Right type half eagles were made from 1795 until the design was changed in 1807. The pre-1800 dates are scarce making the 1800-1807 dates very popular with date and type collectors alike. The 1805 is a slightly better date but it commands no real premium over more common issues such as the 1803/2, 1806 Knobbed 6 and 1807.
This is a choice and really attractive example with rich natural green-gold colors on the obverse and reverse. Only the slightest amount of wear can be seen on the high spots, and to the naked eye this coin has the appearance of an MS61.
PCGS has graded 34 in AU58 with 140 finer and these figures are clearly inflated by resubmissions. CAC has approved just five in AU58 with another 29 finer. The PCGS price Guide suggests a retail value of $13,000 for a non-CAC piece.
Early gold is extremely popular with collectors and this is an uncommonly nice example which should show excellent performance over the long haul.
1850 Large Date $10.00 PCGS AU55 CAC
Varieties of 1850 eagle are known with a Large date and a Small date. The former is more available but it is not easy to find in AU55 and above, especially with natural color and choice surfaces.
This is a very pleasing coin with no serious marks and natural green-gold color. It has well above average eye appeal for the issue.
PCGS has graded 13 in AU55 and just nine finer while CAC has approved three in this grade and eight finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $1,700 for an AU55 without CAC approval.
This coin offers a lot of bang for the buck!
1872-S $10.00 NGC EF45 CAC
Only a few hundred 1872-S eagles exist from an original mintage of 17,300. When available, this date is seen well-worn and almost never with natural color and unmarked surfaces.
This example is very pleasing for the grade with lovely reddish-gold color seen over extremely choice fields. The eye appeal is far above average.
NGC shows a population of 38 in this grade with 82 finer but these figures are likely well inflated by resubmissions. CAC has approved just three in this grade with five finer. The PCGS Price Guide has a value of $1,560 in EF45 but this is for non-CAC approved pieces.
This is an affordable yet truly scarce San Francisco eagle.
1852 $20.00 PCGS MS61 CAC
Type One Liberty Head double eagles were made from 1850 through 1866. They are extremely popular with collectors, and because they were workhorse coins they are seldom seen in Uncirculated (except for shipwreck dates).
The 1852 double eagle is common in circulated grades but it is scarce in the lower Uncirculated grades and rare in MS62 and above. When available, the typical Uncirculated 1852 is bright, bagmarked and unappealing.
This is a fresh and really attractive example with natural orange-gold color over lightly marked surfaces. It has likely never been cleaned or brightened and the eye appeal is far above average for the date and the grade.
PCGS shows a population of 37 in MS61 with 46 finer but these figures are likely inflated by resubmissions. CAC has approved 13 in MS61 and just seven finer. The PCGS price Guide suggests a retail value of $13,000 for an MS61 1852 double eagle without CAC approval.
This big, attractive double eagle should continue to be in demand among serious date collectors of this ultra-popular series.
1890-CC $20.00 NGC AU55 CAC
Carson City double eagles have proven to be an excellent investment with prices doubling for certain issue in the last five years. What makes them appealing, though, is their resonance with collectors due to their great historical background.
This is a choice, naturally toned example with slightly prooflike surfaces which show only slight abrasions. The details are well impressed and the eye appeal is excellent. The 1890-CC is a more available date, so this piece is very suitable as a type coin representative.
NGC shows a population of 420 coins in this grade but only 40 (or around 10%) have earned CAC approval. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $6,350.
1851-O 50¢ PCGS MS65
While 402,000 examples were struck, this date saw extensive melting in 1853 when the weight of silver coins was changed. In addition, many of the surviving 1851-O half dollars were used in circulation and Gem Uncirculated examples are very rare.
This piece is characterized by beautiful natural multi-colored toning on the obverse and the reverse. The surfaces are clean, the details are very strong and the surfaces are frosty. The eye appeal of this coin is exceptional and all Gem Uncirculated New Orleans silver coinage from this era is currently well undervalued.
PCGS has graded just four in MS65 with two finer and the PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $17,000. In 2010, a PCGS MS65 example of the 1851-O half dollar realized $18,400 at auction.
1806 Knobbed 6 $5.00 NGC MS64
Capped Bust Right Heraldic eagle reverse half eagles were made from 1795 through 1807. The early dates tend to be rare, and most collectors focus on the issues made from 1800 to the discontinuation of this design. This type is generally available in the lower Uncirculated grades but it is rare in MS64 and extremely rare in Gem. In fact, an MS65 will cost you over $100,000… if you can even find one!
This 1806 Knobbed 6 represents an excellent type coin as it is a comparatively available date which gets no rarity premium. This example shows nice natural russet-gold color and clean, lustrous surfaces with crisp, clear details on both sides.
NGC has graded 36 in MS64 with only two finer, and it is probable that the MS64 population is well inflated by resubmissions. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $61,500 for this issue in MS64, and the most recent auction trade for an NGC MS64 was $41,300 in June 2014.
This exceptional piece of early gold is an important piece of early American history and it will become a centerpiece of a savvy investor’s portfolio.
1860-O 25 ¢ PCGS MS65 CAC, ex Eliasberg
New Orleans No Motto quarter dollars were made from 1840 through 1860. They were extensively used in commerce, and despite relatively high mintages the survival rate of Uncirculated examples is exceedingly low. The 1860-O is a major rarity in Gem Uncirculated with just three of four pieces known, and the present example is believed to be the second finest in existence.
This piece, which has a verifiable pedigree extending back to 1904, is refreshingly original with deep rose-grey pastels covering choice, frosty surfaces. It is likely that this 1860-O quarter has never been cleaned or fooled with. Its eye appeal is exceptional.
PCGS has graded two in MS65 and one finer (an MS66 which recently sold for close to $25,000), while CAC has approved two MS65’s and one finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $14,000 in MS65.
We feel that Gem silver coinage from the 1840-1860 era is currently highly undervalued and that coins such as this magnificent Gem 1860-O, from the famous Louis Eliasberg collection, represent a unique opportunity for the savvy investor.
1879-S $5.00 NGC MS62+
Most of the pre-1880 With Motto Liberty Head half eagles are scarce in MS62 to MS63 grades and rare above this. The 1879-S fits this rarity profile and it is seldom seen in grades higher than MS63.
This is an extremely “flashy” coin for the date and grade with slightly reflective fields and a bold strike. To the naked eye it looks to be clearly undergraded, and we have seen inferior coins in MS63—and even MS64—holders.
NGC has graded 59 in MS62 with 38 finer and only two in MS62+ while CAC has approved eight in MS62 with five finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $1,550 for a non-CAC example in MS62+.
1843-O $10.00 PCGS AU58
Production of the ten dollar Liberty Head or “eagle” coinage began in New Orleans in 1841. The No Motto type was struck through 1860, and all No Motto eagles from this mint are rare in properly graded AU58 and very rare in Uncirculated. The 1843-O is an extreme rarity in Uncirculated with fewer than 10 known. A nice Mint State coin—if you can find one—will run $15,000 or more, making a properly graded AU58 an excellent value.
This “slider” example is sharply detailed and it displays nearly full luster below attractive light yellow-gold color. There is just the slightest amount of “rub” on the high spots, but the surfaces show fewer abrasions than usual for the date and grade. The eye appeal is excellent.
PCGS has graded just six 1843-O eagles in AU58 and only five finer with none better than MS62. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a value of $7,500 in this grade.
1864-S $20.00 PCGS AU58 CAC
This date is popular with both Liberty Head double eagle collectors and Civil War gold specialists. This gives it multiple levels of demand and coins such as this have demonstrated nice price performance over the last decade.
This lustrous “slider” shows no real wear and the obverse is especially choice with nice color, good luster, and no appreciable marks. The strike is above average and the eye appeal is excellent. A thin streak on the reverse is a “grease stain” and this is mint-made.
PCGS has graded 43 in AU58 and 46 higher while CAC has approved 11 in this grade and 11 finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a retail value of $7,650 for a non-CAC example in this grade.
1866 $5.00 PCGS MS62 CAC
Have you ever wanted to own a coin that was the single finest known example of a truly rare issue? If the answer is "yes," then you will want to read about this 1866 with Motto half eagle.
This is a numismatically significant issue as it is the first year in which Philadelphia half eagles were made with the motto 'IN GOD WE TRUST.' Only 6,700 1866 half eagles were made for circulation, and it is believed that no more than 60 or 70 are known today, with most of these grading in the Very Fine to Extremely Fine range. There are exactly three known in Uncirculated, of which this specific coin is widely regarded as the single finest.
This piece is choice for the grade with nice natural russet and rose colors, in different configurations, on the obverse and reverse. There are a few grade-limiting marks in the fields, but this piece shows great luster, strong overall detail, and great eye appeal for the issue.
PCGS has graded just this one coin in MS62 with none finer, while NGC has graded one in MS63 (more on this in a moment). CAC has approved just this one coin in MS62, and no others have been stickered in any Uncirculated grade.
The NGC MS63 1866 is a coin which was upgraded from its original MS62 holder. It has sold for as much as $40,250 in its first auction appearance in September 2008. Experts who have seen both the NGC MS63 and the PCGS MS62 are unanimous in their belief that the latter coin is significantly finer, due to its original surfaces and superior eye appeal.
This coin is the finest-known example of a scarce issue in a series which is rapidly gaining in popularity with well-heeled specialists. It is a great item to 'put away' for a decade and then to bring it onto the market when the Liberty Head half eagle series is 'hot.'
1870 $3.00 PCGS MS63+ CAC
The $3 denomination was already unpopular by the early 1860's, and this is evident with mintage figures for most issues struck in the 1860's and 1870's. Only 3,500 1870 three dollars were made, and this date is a condition rarity with only four or five dozen known in Uncirculated, mostly in the MS60 to MS62 range. Properly graded MS63 examples are extremely scarce, and only two or three are known in grades higher than this.
This example has outstanding eye appeal as a result of its silky smooth, slightly reflective surfaces, which are blanketed with velvety orange-gold color. A few very light hairlines in the left obverse field narrowly preclude an MS64 (and a much higher price tag).
PCGS has graded seven examples of this date in MS63, plus this solitary coin in MS63+; only two finer have been seen by this service in over 25 years of grading coins. CAC has approved three in MS63 and none finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a retail value of $20,500 for this date in MS63+.
Three dollar gold pieces are currently out of favor with collectors, and the savvy contrarian collector/investor can find excellent values in this series. Back in 2008, when $3 were still popular, a PCGS MS63 (not a 63+) realized $17,250 in an auction.
This is likely one of the three or four finest known 1870 $3 gold pieces and it is a coin which should appeal to specialists in the series or collectors who appreciate undervalued, truly scarce coins.
1857-S $2.50 PCGS AU55 CAC
This early-issue San Francisco quarter eagle has become popular due to its association with the famous S.S. Central America double eagles of the same date. However, the 1857-S quarter eagle is a scarce issue in its own right, with a current estimated population of fewer than 200 known, mostly in the Extremely Fine and lower About Uncirculated grades. Nice higher-grade AU pieces are very scarce, and this date is costly and rare in Uncirculated.
This is a pleasing example for the date and grade with much of its original luster and nice natural light orange-gold color. There is a small amount of wear seen mostly in the left obverse field. The naked eye appearance is excellent, as is the overall eye appeal.
PCGS has graded 14 in AU55 with 31 finer, and it is probable that these figures are inflated by resubmissions. CAC has approved three in this grade and 12 finer. Only four PCGS AU55 1857-S quarter eagles have appeared at auction since 1997.
This affordable Wild West era quarter eagle is a great souvenir from the early days of the San Francisco mint, and is excellent value at current levels.
1884-CC $20.00 PCGS MS61
The Fabled Carson City mint produced double eagles, with interruption(s), from 1870 through the close of the facility in 1893. These were made in two designs: the Type Two (from 1870 through 1876) and the Type Three (1877 through 1893). All the double eagles from this mint are exceedingly popular with collectors and have performed very well from a price standpoint over the last decade.
The 1884-CC is not a rarity as far as the numbers known, but it is conditionally scarce with few seen in grades higher than MS60. There is a huge price jump from MS61 to MS62 for this date and an MS63, which is tied for the highest grade, just sold at auction for $70,500.
This is a fresh, frosty example with excellent color and luster. The strike is sharp and the surfaces show far fewer marks than usual for the issue. A few light contact marks in the upper left obverse field narrowly remove this coin from an MS62 grade and a $20,000+ price tag.
PCGS has graded 118 1884-CC double eagles in MS61 with 59 higher; these figures are assuredly much inflated by resubmissions. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a retail value of $16,000 for this date in MS61.
Five years ago, a PCGS MS61 double eagle would have cost a collector in the $7,000 - 8,000 range. The price performance has been excellent, and hopefully the strong demand for coins of this quality should continue over the next decade.
1861-S $10.00 NGC AU53
All six Civil War Liberty Head eagles (note: the number is six due to two distinct varieties being made in 1865) from the San Francisco are rare issues. The 1861-S is actually one of the more available, but there are still just 70-80 known from the original mintage of 15,500 coins. This date appears to be unique in Uncirculated, and it is very scarce in properly graded About Uncirculated with an estimated 12-15 known.
The typical 1861-S eagle is found in lower grades and has very scuffy surfaces from extensive circulation. The present example has far cleaner surfaces than usual with just a few scattered marks including a small, thin scratch on the left obverse which is hard to see without magnification. The coloration is a nice natural light green-gold with slight rose undertones, while there is a good amount of luster seen on the obverse and reverse.
PCGS has graded six 1861-S eagles in this grade with eight finer. The NGC population of 17 in this grade with 34 finer is clearly grossly inflated by resubmissions. Only four AU53's have sold at auction in the last five years, a testament to the true scarcity of this issue.
This is an issue with multiple levels of demand. It is sought after by Civil War specialists and Liberty Head eagle collectors as well as collectors who focus on San Francisco gold. These various levels of demand bode well for the future of this nice 1861-S eagle.
320-270 BC Carthage Electrum Stater
Zeugitana, Carthage (7.5g)
Obverse Tanit, Reverse horse standing
NGC Choice XF
One of the most important coins of Carthaginian numismatics, this simply designed gold Electrum stater flaunts near perfect strike and surface, and the Fine Style designation is a result of masterful attention to detail on the part of the engraver.
Sicily, Syracuse c. 344 - 335 BC, AV Gold 30-Litrai/Hemidrachm (1.95g)
Under Timoleon. Obverse Zeus facing right
NGC certified Extra Fine
From the Mediterranean island of Sicily comes this beautifully-struck and perfectly-centered gold hemidrachm featuring two of the most iconic Greek mythological figures- Zeus and the Pegasus. With very few examples available to collectors, this NGC-certified Extra Fine with perfect strike and surface for the grade also received a Fine Style designation- denoting it as a specimen of exemplary engraving and design.
377-326 BC Isle of Lesbos Electrum Hecte
Isle of Lesbos, Mytilene (2.56g)
Obverse of Apollo, Reverse Artemis
Electrum coinage is literally the birth of coins as we know it. The Hecte of Mytilene features some of the earliest known depictions of Apollo on the obverse and on the reverse his twin sister Artemis. This almost uncirculated coin boasts near perfect strike, and perfect surfaces.
Mid-2nd Century B.C. Apollo Silver Tetradrachm
Obv. Hero-King with Bow and Spear
Rev. Incuse Punch
NGC certified XF
Apollo, Son of Zeus. The God of Light and the Sun, of truth and prophecy, of healing, plague, music, poetry, medicine and more.
Apollo was one of the most complex deities of Ancient Greek and Roman mythology. His influence has passed on from generation to generation through the centuries and today the name is given to children, to theaters, and even to the Apollo Space Program.
This gorgeous example struck in the 2nd Century B.C. features sensational detail on a High Relief-type strike. The design details jump off the perfectly circular planchet in a 3d effect. The coin is absolutely sensational in-hand with booming luster. It is one of the most exquisite ancient coins we've been able to acquire that symbolizes one of the most important historical figures in World History.
A chance to acquire a coin of such rarity and beauty comes few and far between and even if you only collect U.S. coins, the opportunity to acquire a coin of Apollo is one that can't be denied, especially at this price point.
Archamenid Persian Empire c. 5th Century BC AV Daric (8.29g)
Obv. Hero-King with Bow and Spear
Rev. Incuse Punch
NGC certified XF
In 550 BC Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire by amalgamating the Iranian tribes of the Medes and the Persians. Looking west, his powerful army defeated the Lydians and their king Croesus in 547 BC. It was there that the Persians first came into contact with coinage. Throughout history military campaigns have exposed opposing sides to new ideas, and this meeting was no different, the Persians adopted the Lydian tradition of minting coins. The Persians soon replaced the local 'lion and bull' coins with new Achaemenid coinage.
This stunning gold daric, named after the Persian king Darius I (521-486 BC) features King Darius as an archer on the obverse, and an incuse rectangular punch on the reverse. Minted in the western part of the Achaemenid Empire. Their production continued long after the death of Darius, until the conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great, who melted many Darics at the end of the fourth century BC, making all surviving specimen extremely scarce! This coin has excellent strike (4/5) and surfaces (4/5) - remarkable history, conserved for nearly 2,400 years!