US Coins

Market Analysis: MS-60 1810 half eagle a solid value at $8,700

The Capped Bust series of gold and silver coins is especially tricky for collectors as they try to navigate the difference between About Uncirculated and Mint State. The market is increasingly accepting of “cabinet friction,” a term describing light differences of color at the high points. Over the past few decades many coins once called choice AU are now in lower MS grades.

This 1810 Capped Bust, Large Date, Large 5 gold $5 half eagle is listed as BD-4 in John W. Dannreuther’s and Harry W. Bass Jr.’s 2006 book Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties: A Study of Die States, 1795–1834, and it is the most common die pairing of the 1810 $5 coins.

Heritage offered one in an older, green-label MS-60 Professional Coin Grading Service holder, praising its “bright yellow-gold surfaces and good design detail,” before observing, “Faint hairlines explain the grade.”

Many collectors like when coins are in older third-party grading service holders, because it means that the coins have been untouched for years and will likely not change much in appearance over time.

It sold for $8,700, representing a good buy to the winning bidder, considering that a less appealing AU-58 example of the same die pair brought $9,300 at the 2018 Central States Numismatic Society auction.

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