Insights

Scratched 1871 Carson City Coronet gold $5 half eagle sold at Long Beach Expo a rare sub-$1,000 example

Portion of Market Analysis Column from June 30, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 06/15/14
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The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve Roach’s Market Analysis column in the June 30 issue.

Heritage Auctions’ June 4 to 8 auctions held during the Long Beach Expo brought more than $16 million. 

As is often the case with these major auctions, a gold double eagle led the bidding. An 1854-O Coronet $20 double eagle graded AU-55 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. brought $381,875. Heritage’s roster lists 21 known examples and this one is among the finest known. 

In an auction that offers more than 6,000 lots, many other scarce coins are offered that, while not the finest known, still provide solid values for buyers. Below is one of these coins.

The coin: 1871-CC Coronet gold $5 half eagle, About Good Details, Scratched, $763.75

The story: This 1871-CC Coronet gold $5 half eagle represents a grading challenge. The obverse has solid rims all the way around and by obverse alone it would easily grade Good or finer. 

The reverse is where things get tricky, in that it is well-worn with weak-to-absent rims. Some scratches also appear on the reverse, which NGC notes in giving the coin a details grade. However, the Mint mark is full and the eagle has some nice details remaining.

The 1871-CC half eagle is a tough issue in any grade with a low mintage of 20,770 pieces. Examples priced below $1,000 are rarely seen. Almost all known examples are well-worn, and this one brought $763.75, presenting a rare opportunity for a value-minded collector to buy an 1870s Carson City Mint half eagle for less than $1,000.

Read more of Steve Roach's latest Market Analysis: 

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