Rare and Historically Popular 1861-D1861-D $5 AU 58 PCGS. Struck from slightly misaligned dies and, as a result, weak on the stars on the right while the centers are very sharp. The surfaces are lustrous and there is just a bit of wear noted on the high spots. As on most 1861-D half eagles, there are scattered marks on the surfaces. This is an attractive example of the most famous half eagle from the Dahlonega mint.
The 1861-D is not actually the rarest half eagle from this mint (that honor belongs to the 1842-D Large Date), but it is certainly the most popular. In addition to 1,597 pieces that were coined between January and April 1861, a small number (probably in the area of 1,000 to 2,000 coins) were produced by the Confederacy. There is no absolute way to determine who produced which coins, but it certainly seems possible that the coins that were struck from misaligned dies are more likely to have been the work of the inexperienced Confederate coiners.
There are an estimated dozen 1861-D half eagles known in AU, as well as another seven to nine that grade Mint State.
From the Chestatee Collection. (NGC ID# 25VM, PCGS# 8290)
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