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    Description

    1861-D Half Eagle, Partially Lustrous AU55
    Rare Final-Year Dahlonega Five
    Ex: Bass

    1861-D $5 AU55 PCGS. Variety 46-JJ. Ex: Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection. The 1861-D is the final and rarest half eagle struck at the Dahlonega Mint. Its paltry recorded mintage of 1,597 pieces represents those coins struck under federal control before the facility fell into the hands of the Confederacy in April 1861. At the time of seizure, the Dahlonega Mint still housed more than $13,000-worth of gold bullion, some of which is believed to have been used later in the year to strike additional half eagles beyond the recorded mintage. However, the number of 1861-D fives struck under confederate control must have been minimal. Today, only 75 to 85 examples of this final Dahlonega issue survive, with federal and confederate coins indistinguishable.

    For collectors who find rare Uncirculated examples to be out of reach, this partially lustrous Choice AU representative boasts significant eye appeal. The coin was plated in the 1972 Superior catalog -- high honors for the period -- and realized $2,400 on an auction estimate of $1,500-$2,300. It changed hands again in the 2000 Bass Collection, Part III sale for $20,125 and could easily double that value in its current offering. The last AU55 representative we offered was an NGC coin in lot 5747 of the Central States Signature (Heritage, 4/2014), which realized $41,125. The Harry Bass PCGS coin displays beautifully original orange-gold patina with little wear over the design elements and pleasantly smooth surfaces. The typically "poor eye appeal" referenced by Doug Winter is mercifully absent from this piece. Winter writes:

    "A few very attractive examples of this date do exist, including some Mint State coins and a few very choice About Uncirculated pieces. Coins of this quality are very highly prized among Dahlonega collectors."


    The Harry Bass 1861-D half eagle is one of those eye-appealing rarities.
    Ex: Rare Coin Auction (Superior, 12/1972), lot 1955, which realized $2,400; Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part III (Bowers and Merena, 5/2000), lot 492, which realized $20,125.(Registry values: P6) (NGC ID# 25VM, PCGS# 8290)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    6th-11th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,223

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