Estimated grade. Ex. Salisbury (1958) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $3575
David Akers (1975/88): The 1845-O is many times more rare than the 1844-O and is in the same rarity class as the two varieties of 1843-O. Most known specimens grade only VF or EF and even AU examples are quite rare. Strictly uncirculated examples are extremely rare and the superb Gilhousen specimen purchased by Harry Bass for $2000 is the only real gem I have ever seen.Doug Winter: The 1845-O is a more available coin than the 1846-O and 1847-O half eagles but it is still a hard coin to locate. In fact, it is considerably scarcer than many of the more heralded Charlotte and Dahlonega half eagles of this era.
The 1845-O half eagle is most often available in the VF and EF grades. It becomes scarce in the lower AU grades and it is rare in properly graded AU55 to AU58. This is a very rare coin in Uncirculated with just five to six known. There are two very nice MS63s currently accounted for with nothing finer.
STRIKE: Most pieces show a good overall quality of strike. On the obverse, many have minor weakness on the curls around the face but the stars and the denticles are sharp. The reverse may show a bit of weakness on the eagle’s neck feathers and on the legs but the strike is generally sharp. I have seen a few 1845-O half eagles on which the mintmark was a bit weak, but it was always clearly visible.
SURFACES: The surfaces tend to show extensive abrasions and this is an extremely hard coin to find without deep clusters of marks. There are a number of coins that have detracting marks in prime focal areas such as the cheek of Liberty, the left obverse field or above the head of the eagle.
LUSTER: This issue has above-average luster and it is far better than on the 1846-O or 1847-O. It is typically frosty in texture and some show slight graininess at the obverse border. There are a few known that are slightly reflective but I have never seen a prooflike 1845-O half eagle.
COLORATION: The natural coloration is a medium to deep green-gold with a smaller number displaying light yellow-gold hues. There are not many 1845-O half eagles remaining that display original color, although most of the higher grade pieces known are original.
EYE APPEAL: The typical 1845-O half eagle is decently struck but shows negative eye appeal as a result of excessive marks. Pieces that have minimal obtrusive marks and original surfaces are extremely scarce and worth a strong premium over typical quality coins.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: There are raised die lines on the reverse above MERIC in AMERICA. These eventually fade out on later strikes. A number of the vertical stripes extend into the horizontal lines above while others extend down to the eagle’s feathers.
MAJOR VARIETIES: There is a single variety known:
Variety One: The 18 in the date is repunched and this appears to be seen on all known examples. A number of the denticles on the obverse show recutting and strengthening at the outside. The reverse is very similar to the 1844; the mintmark is the same size and in the same position.
Despite a higher mintage figure, the 1846-O is actually a scarcer coin than the 1845-O half eagle.
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