Rare, Key-Date 1842-C Five Dollar, AU551842-C $5 Small Date AU55 NGC. Variety 4-C, Die State I. This issue is the rarest Charlotte half eagle, and is also the second rarest Charlotte coin behind the 1849-C Open Wreath gold dollar rarity. Note the complete definition on Liberty's curls and the eagle's claws, detailing that is frequently found lacking on this series. The surfaces show scattered handling marks expected for the grade and Mint, but nothing is too deep or distracting. For identification we note a lint mark (or something similar) that extends just below Liberty's bust above the 1 in the date, and a small nick at the top of Liberty's chin, below her lips. A desirable coin in this lofty grade, and certain to command considerable attention.
The obverse die cracked fairly early in the production of this issue, forming a rim cud at the top. Striking continued despite this rim break, and today approximately 75 percent of survivors issued show this break, and often have weaker strikes as production continued. That crack is not seen on this piece. Die State I pieces are believed to have been the first 2,555 coins minted and are thought to have been struck on March 22, 1842. Doug Winter notes that very few of these are known in AU grades, and this issue is virtually impossible to obtain in Mint State. Four coins are listed on Winter's most recent Condition Census. This piece is tied with the number 4 coin, a PCGS AU55 example. (Registry values: P8) (NGC ID# 25SV, PCGS# 8208)
Weight: 8.36 grams
Metal: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.
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