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    Finest Known 1856-C Half Eagle MS63

    1856-C $5 MS63 PCGS. Variety 24-J. Although the 1856-C for many years was regarded as a common issue, in reality it is decidedly scarce in any grade, and rare in Mint State. When Douglas Winter published his Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint, 1838-1861 in 2001, he wrote that only three pieces were believed known of the 1856-C in Uncirculated condition, the finest an MS61. Winter commented further, "The 1856-C is probably the most underrated Charlotte half eagle. It is usually seen in Very Fine and low-end Extremely Fine grades. It is a rare coin in any level of About Uncirculated and it becomes very rare in About Uncirculated-55 or better. In Mint State, this date is excessively rare." Since that time there have obviously been several submissions and resubmissions of this issue to both NGC and PCGS, which currently enumerate a total of 19 "submission events," in the words of Q. David Bowers. One can easily divide by a factor of two or three to determine one's own estimate of the number of Mint State pieces. Regardless, this is the highest graded and only certified specimen of the 1856-C half eagle in MS63 at either service, with only two pieces listed in MS62.
    This piece has striking details that are atypically strong for the issue, with Liberty's hair curls all pleasingly delineated and separated, and bold, sculptural details on both the eagle and the peripheries. The surfaces display the usual soft, satin-like mint luster. The lightly abraded surfaces lack the numerous deep abrasions usually found on these coins, with pretty, medium orange-gold hues. This specimen poses a prime opportunity for Charlotte gold specialists, one that will undoubtedly not go unnoticed.(Registry values: P4)

    Coin Index Numbers: (NGC ID# 25UW, PCGS# 8267)

    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
    August, 2006
    13th-14th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 872

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