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Available Rare U.S. Coins

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Pre-1933 Rare U.S. Coins


1876-S $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC

Jan17 1876S AU55 Transparent F

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 Current Price: $20,250

Only 4,000 were struck and the 1876-S is among the rarest With Motto half eagles from San Francisco with an estimated 75-85 known. This date is unique in Uncirculated (an NGC MS65 from the 1979 Garrett Collection sale) and I am aware of just three to five which grade AU55 to AU58.

This fresh-to-the-market example is the second Condition Census 1876-S half eagle I have offered for sale this year; earlier in 2016 I sold a PCGS AU58. This very high end example is notable for its natural appearance with both sides displaying rich, attractive russet hues. The underlying surfaces are very clean with no severe marks noted and the strike is bold. A punchmark in Liberty's ear is diagnostic and is seen on all 1876-S half eagles.

Only one PCGS AU55 has sold at auction since April 2006 and it realized $12,650 as Heritage 1/11: 5119. The present example is far nicer than the NGC AU58 which brought $18,800 as Heritage 3/14: 30334.

If you specialize in San Francisco half eagles, you will immediately recognize the importance of this offering. CAC has approved two in this grade with none finer.

1854-S $10.00 PCGS AU58 CAC

Jan17 1854S Transparent F

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 Current Price: $8,850

The 1854-S is a numismatically significant date as it is the first eagle made at the new San Francisco mint. It is the most available No Motto eagle from San Francisco but it becomes rare in properly graded AU58 and it is extremely rare in Uncirculated with likely no more than three or so known.

This is easily the best AU58 example of this date I have seen and it looks like an MS62 to MS63 coin when viewed with the naked eye. The coin itself is hammered with great detail seen on both sides and it is fully lustrous with attractive light orange-gold color. I don't believe this piece ever entered circulation and the rub on the obverse is likely the result of friction from an old coin cabinet.

No PCGS AU58 1854-S eagle has sold at auction since early 2007. A PCGS MS62 with questionable color was bid up to $35,250 as Heritage 1/16: 5618.

For most advanced collectors, this high end AU58 represents all the 1854-S eagle they will ever require for their set. CAC has approved 12 in this grade with only 1 finer.

1876-S $10.00 PCGS AU50 CAC

Jan17 1876S AU50 Transparent F

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 Current Price: $9,750

The 1876-S is the last of many rare to very date Liberty Head eagles made at the San Francisco mint between 1855 and 1876. Only 5,000 were struck of which 75 or so are known, mostly in the VF-EF range. This date is unknown above AU55 and the finest I know of is a PCGS AU55 which realized $22,325 in the Stacks Bowers 11/13 auction.

This is an especially choice coin for the grade which is every bit the equal of pieces I have seen in AU53 holders. The surfaces show light, even wear with considerable luster below light yellow-gold color.

The only PCGS AU50 example of this date with CAC approval is this exact coin which sold reasonably as Legend 7/14: 200 at $7,931.

This piece is likely in the Condition Census for the date and it seems like great value at less than $9,000.

This is the single highest 1876-S eagle with CAC approval; none are finer.

1868-S $5.00 NGC AU58 CAC

Jan17 1868S Transparent F

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 Current Price: $7,500

With a comparatively high mintage of 52,000 the 1868-S half eagle should be a fairly available issue but it has a tiny survival rate and just 150 or so exist. in properly graded AU58, it is doubtful if more than four or five exist and I am aware of just two in Uncirculated: an NGC MS61 and a similarly graded PCGS example.

This very pleasing borderline Uncirculated piece shows little--if any--actual wear and has a considerable amount of mint luster remains beneath natural rose and light orange-gold color. Some ticks can be seen in the left obverse field but these are not deep or detracting. The overall level of eye appeal is superior for the date and grade.

Another NGC/CAC AU58 1868-S sold for $5,463 as Heritage 1/12: 6377.

This unimprovable coin represents solid value in the With Motto San Francisco half eagle series.

CAC has approved 2 in this grade with none finer.

1894-S $10.00 NGC AU55 CAC

Jan17 1894S Transparent F

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 Current Price: $1,950

Along with the 1895-S and 1896-S, the 1894-S is a sleeper amongst late date San Francisco eagles. The 1894-S is scarce in properly graded AU55 to AU58 and it is rare in Uncirculated.

This strictly original example shows very pleasing natural green-gold color with rose and orange-gold highlights. There is a good deal of remaining luster and the surfaces are free of the usual marks.

No CAC approved AU55 1894-S eagle has sold at auction.

CAC has approved 2 in AU55 and only 2 finer.


1872 $2.50 PCGS PR64DCAM CAC

Feb16 1872 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $29,900

All Proof gold dated 1872 is very rare. The 1872 quarter eagle has a mintage of only 30 Proofs, of which fewer than 20 are known. The typical survivor grades PR63 to PR64 and gems are extremely rare, with likely no more than two or three known. This date is especially hard to locate with a Deep Cameo/Ultra cameo designation and probably no more than five or so exist with this degree of contrast.

This is one of the finest known for the date. It is bright and very vibrant with an excellent black and white appearance. There are a few wispy hairlines which limit the grade, but this piece is clearly high-end. There is some natural toning on the reverse and a small red copper spot, which clearly shows this piece is original and has not been “played with.”

PCGS has graded three in PR64DCAM with none finer. CAC has approved two in this grade/designation with none finer. The PCGS Price Guide suggests a retail value of $27,500. The only comparable piece to sell at auction brought $28,200 as Heritage 12/12: 5643.

The Proof quarter eagles from the 1870’s are very rare and tend to be overlooked in comparison to higher denominations. This piece is exceptional in its state of preservation and it is likely one of the very finest known for the date.

1859 $20.00 PCGS EF40

Feb16 1859 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $7,650

The 1859 is one of the two rarest Type One double eagles from the Philadelphia mint along with the popular 1862. It is not often seen in affordable collector grades as most of the EF pieces are either ungradable due to harsh cleaning, or they are housed in tightly-held collections.

This example has strike which is typical for the date with some flatness on the obverse stars, especially the first five. There are some scattered marks on the surfaces including a fresh scrape through the rim at 5:00 through star 13 into the right field.

Only one example graded EF40 has sold at auction since October 2009 and it brought $7,050 as Heritage 10/15: 5241.

It is nearly impossible to find an example of this date for sale at less than $7,500.

1839-D $2.50 PCGS VF30 CAC

Feb16 1839 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $5,975

The 1839-D is numismatically desirable as a one-year type and as the very first quarter eagle made at the new Dahlonega mint. It is actually more available than one would presume but most collector quality examples (VF-EF) are really ugly and really low end.

This very choice piece is, in my opinion, close to a full EF40 in terms of detail and “skin.” PCGS was a bit harsh on the grade due to typical weakness of strike on the reverse, but this piece shows good overall detail for the grade and it is has lovely natural caramel and russet hues which are seldom seen on the issue. The surfaces are comparatively clean and the wear is even and smooth. The eye appeal is exceptional and this is the nicest VF 1839-D quarter eagle I have offered in years.

No PCGS VF30 1839-D quarter eagle has sold at auction since August 2007. A CAC approved NGC piece brought $4,230 as Heritage 3/15: 4117. CAC has approved three in this grad and 15 finer.

This is an excellent opportunity for the collector on a budget to acquire a genuinely attractive example of arguably the most popular quarter eagle made at the Dahlonega mint.

$5.00 – 1882-CC NGC AU58 CAC

1882 July15 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $6,500

The 1882-CC is the most available of five Carson City half eagles from the 1880′s. Examples grading AU55 to AU58 are not rare but it is difficult to find these with natural color and choice surfaces.

This frosty slider shows just a touch of friction on the central obverse; the reverse on its own grades MS61 to MS62 in my opinion. A few small, shallow marks in the inner left obverse field are noticeable but not detracting. The color is an even, pleasing light to medium natural orange-gold.

Three non-CAC NGC AU58 1882-CC half eagles sold at auction in 2014 and they brought $4,994, $5,288 and $7,638, respectively. No CAC approved example has been offered in some time.

$10.00 – 1858 PCGS AU53 CAC

1858 July15 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $17,250

Only 2,521 business strikes were produced and for many years, the 1858 was regarded as THE key issue in the entire Liberty Head eagle series. It has been stated in print that as few as 25-30 exist but this is wrong and my estimate is in the 45-55 range. The 1858 eagle is quite scarce in AU grades with around 12-15 known and it remains unique in Uncirculated with the famous MTB/Hall/Simpson coin, now graded MS64+ by PCGS, being the clear finest by a mile.

This fresh-to-the-market example is a perfect coin for the grade with some remaining luster, attractive natural russet-gold color and surfaces which lack any of the significant abrasions which are usually found on this issue

Two good comparable APR’s exist for the 1858 eagle in AU53. A PCGS example without CAC approval sold for $15,275 as Heritage 2/14: 4170 while a CAC approved NGC piece realized $14,688 as Heritage 1/13: 5903.The only finer 1858 eagle to appear for sale in recent years was a PCGS AU58 which realized $31,075 in a March 2013 Great Collections auction.

CAC has approved four in this grade with none finer. Only six examples of this date has so far been approved by CAC.

$5.00 – 1860-S PCGS AU55

1860 July15 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $9,350


While a comparatively high mintage of 21,200 was recorded for this issue, the 1860-S is a rare coin in all grades with no more than 60-70 known in total. In AU, the 1860-S is rare and there are likely no more than five to seven extent in the AU55 to AU58 range. In Uncirculated, this date is unique with the Bass/Eliasberg example, graded MS62 by PCGS, having last brought $27,600 when it sold in 1999.

This is a flashy, lustrous example which appears to have never before been in an auction. It is lightly worn and well defined with some scattered marks on the surfaces as on nearly all known 1860-S half eagles. On this piece, the identifying mark is a circular scrape at Liberty’s throat.

No PCGS AU55 1860-S half eagle has sold at auction since April 2006. In April 2014, a PCGS AU58 brought a strong $19,975. This is the best available quality for this date as less than $10,000 and it is likely in the Condition Census for the issue.

1838-C $2.50 NGC AU55 | Pittman Collection Pedigree

1838C Pittman June15 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $12,500

This is an important first year of issue and one of only two quarter eagles from this mint which use the popular, short-lived Classic Head design. Only 7,880 were made and of the few hundred which exist, the present example is far nicer than what is usually seen.

This lustrous, lightly worn example is pedigreed to the famous John Pittman collection which was sold in May 1998; this is a highly regarded pedigree. The coin brought $8,800 nearly 15 years ago and it appears not to have been reoffered in recent years.

NGC has graded 12 in AU55 with 35 finer while PCGS has graded 16 with 17 finer; both sets of figures are likely inflated by resubmissions.

1840-C $2.50 PCGS AU53 CAC

1840C June15 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $5,850

This is another numismatically significant issue; in this case due to its being the first year of issue for the Liberty Head type. As a date, the 1840-C is scarce in AU grades, especially with natural color and choice surfaces.

This wonderfully “fresh” example shows excellent deep natural color and would likely grade higher were it not for some minor weakness of strike at the obverse border.

PCGS has graded 13 in AU55 with 30 finer while CAC has approved just 5 in this grade and four better.

1840 $5.00 PCGS MS62

May15 1840 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $5,400

The 1840 is an important first-year-of-issue as it displays the modified Liberty Head first introduced in 1839. Circulated examples are common but this date is scarce in Uncirculated with around 12-15 known, mostly in the MS60 to MS62 range. This is an example of the Narrow Mill variety, but has not been designated as such by PCGS.

This example is fresh to the market and it exhibits crisp luster which has obviously never been interfered with. The strike is sharper than usual for the date with no weakness at the borders and full radial lines in the stars. The color is a totally natural and very pleasing medium orange gold hue, and were it not for a few scuffs in the fields this piece would receive strong consideration at the 63 level. PCGS has only graded four finer than MS62.

This would make an excellent No Motto type coin, or it would fit nicely into nearly any advanced set of Liberty Head half eagles.

1858-C $5.00 PCGS AU58 CAC

May15 1858 Transparent Sold F

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Current Price: $5,400

The 1858-C is one of the more available half eagles from the Charlotte mint. As with all Charlotte half eagles, properly graded AU58's are scarce and they are excellent values when compared to MS61 coins which, typically, are double the price (or more) and often are less eye appealing.

This sharply-struck example features rich natural russet hues on the obverse and, a bit less so, on the reverse. The obverse is clean and choice while there are a few small ticks on the reverse including a small cluster below A in STATES. Some roughness in the reverse fields is as-made and is seen on many 1858-C half eagles.

1872 $3.00 PCGS AU58 CAC


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Current Price: $4,250

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.

1850 Large Date $10.00 PCGS AU55 CAC


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Current Price: $1,975

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!

1806 Knobbed 6 $5.00 NGC MS6


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Current Price: $41,250

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


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Current Price: $13,150

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+


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Current Price: $1,750

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


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Current Price: $7,150

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


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Current Price: $7,600

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.

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