US Coins

Market Analysis: Southern Branch Mint gold $5s

This 1846-C Coronet $5 gold half eagle graded AU Details, Cleaned by NGC sold for $4,400, while an 1851-D Weak D half eagle in a PCGS Genuine, AU Details, Cleaned holder realized $1,920 on May 12.

Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Impairments like improper cleaning can make tougher issues more accessible to collectors. Branch Mint issues like those struck at the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints are always pricey, but an improper cleaning designation by a third-party grading service can provide a balance of quality and value.

In Heritage’s May 12 session, an 1846-C Coronet gold $5 half eagle graded by Numismatic Guaranty Co. as About Uncirculated Details, Cleaned sold for $4,400. PCGS CoinFacts estimates that just 300 survive from an original production of 12,995 half eagles at the Charlotte Mint that year. The price was not much less than the $4,920 that an NGC AU-50 example realized in 2023.

Also on May 12, an 1851-D Weak D $5 half eagle graded by Professional Coin Grading Service Genuine, AU Details, Cleaned sold for $1,920. The price recognized both the unnaturally bright surfaces and the near visual absence of the Mint mark. Examples without a clear Mint mark sell at a discount to those with a defined D.

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