1838 $5 MS62

CERTIFICATION#: -35282
PCGS#: 8176

Owner's Comments

PCGS grade. Ex. Green; Farouk (1954) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $8250

Expert Comments

Ron Guth: The 1838 Half Eagle is a fairly common coin as far as Classic Head Half Eagles go.  It is not as common as the higher-mintage 1834 Plain 4 and the 1836, but it is far less rare than the lower-mintage 1834 Crosslet 4, 1838-C, and 1838-D.  Akers wrote that truly choice Uncirculated examples are rare, but the PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census includes ten examples that are at least MS64 or better.  The finest example is a single PCGS MS66, followed by a rather impressive PCGS MS65 that is fully prooflike (and has actually been called a Proof in the past by both Walter Breen and David Akers).  Akers was correct in noting that this date comes well struck.

David Akers (1975/88): As a date, the 1838 is more rare than the 1834 Plain 4, 1835, or 1836 but not quite as scarce, particularly in choice condition, as the 1837. Most specimens I have seen have been quite well struck. Average uncirculated examples are seen from time to time but truly choice uncirculated pieces are very rare.

Diameter: 22.50 millimeters Designer: William Kneass Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 286,588 Weight: 8.24 grams Metal Content: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
2
525
3
450
4
425
6
440
2
8
475
2
10
500
1
20
650
1
45+
1,125
50+
1,325
53+
1,650
55+
2,350
58+
3,750
1
62+
7,200
63+
15,000
1
64+
35,000
65+
100,000

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 700 R-5.6 5 / 8 5 / 8
60 or Better 90 R-8.1 5 / 8 TIE 5 / 8 TIE
65 or Better 8 R-9.6 4 / 8 TIE 4 / 8 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  

Gold Rush Collection - Heritage 1/2005:30048, $126,500 - Madison Collection - Heritage 1/2008:3159, $253,000

2 MS65 PCGS grade  

Byron Reed Collection - Spink America 10/1996:126, $121,000 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 10/1999:865, $115,000.  This example is fully prooflike and has been called both a Proof (by Akers and Breen) and a Specimen (by NGC) in the past.

2 MS65 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 PCGS grade  
5 MS64 PCGS grade