Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1834 Classic Head Five, MS65
    Plain 4, McCloskey 2-B
    Rarely Offered So Well-Preserved

    1834 $5 Plain 4 MS65 PCGS. Breen-6502, McCloskey 2-B, R.3. Second Head. The gold weight of U.S. gold coinage was reduced in 1834 to bring its intrinsic value in line each denomination's face value. This measure achieved the desired effect of restoring gold coinage to circulation for the first time since 1821. To signify the change in specifications, the design of the half eagle and quarter eagle was changed to William Kneass's Classic Head motif. A substantial mintage of 657,460 pieces was accomplished for the half eagle in 1834, making the issue reasonably available in lower Mint State grades today. However, the date becomes scarce at the MS64 grade level, and Gems are rarely seen.

    The last PCGS-graded Gem Plain 4 coin that we handled was in lot 5649 of the August 2014 ANA Signature, which realized $99,875. Such is the rarity of Classic Head gold above MS64. In fact, PCGS has certified only 18 Classic Head half eagles in MS65 and finer condition, all date and mints included. Of the 1834 date, the grading service reports five Gems and two Premium Gems, all representing the Plain 4 variety. We have not handled a Premium Gem since 2011, and we have not seen a PCGS-graded Premium Gem since 1994. The MS65 coin offered here is truly among the finest PCGS-certified 1834 Classic Head fives available to collectors.

    Each side displays bright peach-gold mint luster and semiprooflike fields. The stars are sharp, and central strike weakness is restricted to the left edge of the reverse shield and the hair curl near Liberty's ear on the obverse. A few faint luster grazes on each side are detected with a loupe but fail to detract from the eye appeal. An impressive coin in all respects.(Registry values: P1)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# E2KE, PCGS# 8171)

    Weight: 8.36 grams

    Metal: 89.92% Gold, 10.08% Copper

    View Certification Details from PCGS

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    14th-18th Wednesday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 335

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $19) per lot.

    Sold on Aug 18, 2019 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 22 days left to consign to the 2021 August 18 - 22 ANA WFOM US Coins Signature Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    You have not just a fine firm but a collection of outstanding individuals whom we consider ourselves privileged to know and now consider friends. From me, and from my heart, I just say thank you for a great job of bringing my collecting life to a gratifying close.
    Eugene G.,
    Lancaster, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search