Superb PCGS MS64 1841-D Small Mintmark Half Eagle--Second Finest Known1841-D $5 Small D MS64 PCGS. Variety 5-D. (per Doug Winter's second edition and revised attribution system). Small mintmark. Die State I with light repunching on the 18 in the date and no obverse die crack. This is by far the more common variety of the two known for this year.
RARITY INFORMATION: The 1841-D is among the more available of the early date Dahlonega half eagles. There are an estimated 150-175 pieces known including 32-40 in About Uncirculated and another eight to ten in Uncirculated. A few truly special pieces exist including a PCGS MS65 in the Duke's Creek Collection (Ex: Milas and James A. Stack), an NGC MS65 (Ex: Ashland City Collection) and at least three graded MS63 by PCGS. The relative availability of the 1841-D half eagle in high grades makes us think that a small hoard may have existed at one time.
STRIKE: This is usually among the best struck Dahlonega half eagles of the early 1840s. This piece is very boldly detailed. The obverse shows no weakness while the reverse has just a touch of flatness noted on the eagle's right (facing) claw.
SURFACES: The surfaces are exceptionally clean with just a few ultra-fine hairlines (not from cleaning) and stray marks visible under strong magnification. There is a shallow mint-made planchet flake on the obverse between stars 12 and 13 that serves as immediate identification.
LUSTER: Both the obverse and reverse are abundantly lustrous with a soft, frosty texture. The reverse is slightly reflective. The luster is obviously unimpaired and has not been altered by any sort of "enhancement."
COLORATION: Lovely medium to deep yellow and orange-gold hues are present on both sides. There are a few very high grade 1841-D half eagles known that have especially nice color, and the Green Pond example is certainly at the forefront of these.
EYE APPEAL: This is a superb, borderline Gem with lovely color, choice surfaces, great luster, and good detail. Were it not for the aforementioned planchet depression on the obverse, it is likely that this coin would receive serious consideration at a higher grade level. This is an important high grade piece for the type collector who is looking for a truly special half eagle from the Dahlonega mint.
COMPARABLES: In the May 1995 Milas Collection Auction, Stack's sold an NGC MS65 as lot 441 for $68,750. The same coin had brought $88,000 when offered unencapsulated as lot 1094 in Stack's October 1994 James Stack Sale. In January 2003, an NGC MS65 in our Ashland City Collection Sale, offered as lot 4735, was bid up to $59,800.
PEDIGREE: Obtained via private treaty from Heritage Rare Coin Galleries. Earlier Ex: John Gervason; 1996 ANA (Heritage, 8/96), lot 8308, where it brought $25,850; Auction '89 (Superior, 8/89), lot 893, where it realized $25,300; Auction '81 (RARCOA's session), lot 844 ($15,000). This is the plate coin the second edition of the Winter book on Dahlonega gold and it is listed in the current Condition Census as being tied for the second finest known. (#8204) (Registry values: P3) (NGC ID# 25SR, PCGS# 8204)
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