Coins Certified as of 1/24

My Coin #-35303

1842-C $5 Large Date VF20

PCGS#: 8209

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. Ex. Green; Farouk (1954) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $1540

Expert Comments

Gordon Wrubel: On the Large Date Charlotte $5. the bottom of the 8 is BELOW the baseline of the adjacent 1. The Small Date variety uses a smaller 8 puncheon whose bottom is ABOVE the baseline of the adjacent 1 and 4. The Large Date is more common than the Small Date by a factor of about 4 to 1. Both are rare in Mint State but the Small Date is about twice as rare in uncirculated condition.David Akers (1975/88): The 1842-C Large Date is not nearly as rare as the Small Date variety but it is still a rare coin, particularly in high grade. Overall it is at the same general rarity level as the 1839-C, 1840-C and 1841-C. Most available specimens are circulated to VF or EF condition. Strictly graded AU coins are rare and uncirculated examples are extremely rare. In all probability, no more than a few uncs exist. The 1842-C Large Date differs from the 1842-C Small Date only in the size of the date. Both coins have the Small Letters reverse. (This is in contrast to the 1842-D coins which have different reverses as well as different size dates.)Doug Winter: Approximately one month after the Small Date half eagles of 1842 were coined at the Charlotte Mint, another variety was produced. This had a Large Date, as do Charlotte half eagles produced from 1843 through 1858. The reverse was unchanged and would continue to employ Small Letters until 1844.

The 1842-C Large Date continues to be an under-appreciated issue; it is scarcer than most non-specialists realize. It is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades and is very scarce in the lower AU grades. Properly graded AU55 and AU58 coins are rare. A few new Uncirculated examples have turned up since the last book, but in Mint state this is still a very rare issue.

The rarity of the 1842-C Small Date ensures that its Large Date counterpart does not receive the respect that it deserves. The 1842-C Large Date remains a scarcer issue than generally realized, especially in higher grades.

STRIKE: A number of 1842-C Large Date half eagles show a soft strike. The obverse center is often mushy in appearance, with the greatest amount of weakness noted on the hair behind the ear of Liberty. The curls around the face are often very weak as well. The obverse border is better struck, with many examples having reasonably sharp detail on the stars and the denticles. The reverse shows a better overall strike, but it is hard to find a coin that is not weak on the eagle’s head, neck and claws. The leg of the eagle is usually weak as well. The right leg of the eagle is usually weak as well. The reverse border is sharp with good detail on the lettering and denticles.

SURFACES: This issue is nearly always seen with very heavily abraded surfaces. Most are choppy in the fields and this gives many coins a slightly rough appearance. Some 1842-C Large Date half eagles have mint-made roughness at the inner border on the obverse, as seen on a number of 1840-C half eagles. It is not uncommon to find lintmarks or other mint-made defects in the fields. Any piece with clean, smooth surfaces is very scarce and deserves a strong premium over a typical abraded example.

LUSTER: The luster seen on this issue tends to be below average – primarily as result of the surface roughness and abrasions described above. However, there are some higher grade pieces that have exceptional soft, frosty luster. These are attractive and very desirable.

COLORATION: Coins with original color often have nice orange-gold or medium green-gold hues. Most have been cleaned or dipped at one time and original examples are rare.

EYE APPEAL: It is very difficult to locate an example with good eye appeal. The typical 1842-C half eagle is softly struck and very heavily abraded. There are a small number of very attractive higher grade pieces known but these tend to be very infrequently offered for sale.

DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are no significant die characteristics.

DIE VARIETIES: One variety is known.

Variety 1 (formerly Variety 5-C): The obverse can be quickly distinguished from the other used in 1842 by a large-size date. The 2 is closer to the denticles than the bust. The reverse is the same as described for the 1841-C and 1842-C Small Date half eagles.

Diameter: 21.65 millimeters Designer: Christian Gobrecht Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 23,589 Weight: 8.24 grams Metal Content: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
Go To Grade
  • 8
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  • 53
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  • 55+
  • 58
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  • 62
  • 62+
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  • 63+
  • 64
  • 64+
  • 65

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 400 R-6.2 86 / 112 TIE 123 / 218 TIE
60 or Better 8 R-9.6 44 / 112 TIE 71 / 218 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 112 1 / 218

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 estimated grade  
2 MS63 PCGS grade
2 MS63 PCGS grade  
2 MS63 estimated grade  

Grant Pierce Collection - Stack's 5/1965:1330 - World Wide Coin Investments, sold privately in 2/1968 - Harry W. Bass Collection - Bowers & Merena 10/1999:910, $34,500 - North Carolina Collection - Heritage 11/2004:8367, not sold - Bowers & Merena 2/2007:716, $33,350 - Bowers & Merena 8/2007:1800, $35,650 - Cherokee County Collection - Heritage 1/2012:4880, $33,350

2 MS63 estimated grade