Estimated grade. Ex. Green; Farouk (1954) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $4510
David Akers (1975/88): The 1848-C is more rare as a date than the 1847-C and is equally "impossible" to obtain in strictly uncirculated condition. I have never seen an uncirculated piece and only a few strictly graded AU coins. Virtually all known specimens are in the Fine to EF range.Doug Winter: While the 1848-C half eagle has an almost identical mintage to the 1849-C, the 1848-C remains a much scarcer coin, especially in high grades. When the first edition of [my] book was released in 1987, it was unknown in Uncirculated. Two decades later, a small number of Mint State pieces exist but it remains extremely rare in Uncirculated.
The 1848-C half eagle is scarcer than its reasonably high mintage figure of nearly 65,000 coins would suggest. It is nearly always seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is very scarce in About Uncirculated and becomes rare in the higher range of that grade. In Mint State, the 1848-C is extremely rare with just three to five known that qualify as such by current standards.
STRIKE: This issue nearly always shows weakness on the curls surrounding the face. The area below BERT in LIBERTY is especially weak and there is typically no definition on the curls in this area. The rest of the obverse is better defined with individually detailed denticles and with most of the radial lines in the stars complete as well as sharp. On the reverse, the eagle’s right leg and claws are often weak and the arrow feathers seldom show full definition. The borders are very sharp.
SURFACES: This date saw considerable commercial usage. As a result, most survivors are well worn and show extensive marks. Even higher grade pieces tend to be noticeably abraded and the 1848-C ranks as one of the most difficult half eagles to find with clean surfaces.
LUSTER: At least two distinct textures have been seen on the surfaces of this date. The majority are frosty with good luster. A smaller number are semi-prooflike with a considerable amount of reflectivity seen in the fields. These semi-prooflike pieces can be attractive. Most 1848-C half eagles have been cleaned and the luster has been disturbed as a result.
COLORATION: Original examples can show very pleasing color. The hues most often seen are deep green-gold and lighter medium to deep yellow-gold. Naturally toned pieces have become extremely hard to locate and are now very rare. I have seen a number of artificially toned 1848-C half eagles with unnatural deep orange-gold or reddish hues.
EYE APPEAL: This date has become extremely hard to find with good eye appeal. Most are not well struck and the great majority show heavy abrasions and/or hairlines from past cleanings. Any 1848-C that is choice and original is worth a strong premium and is eagerly sought by date collectors of Charlotte half eagles.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: On high grade 1848-C half eagles, raised die scratches join the eagle’s beak and right wing.
DIE VARIETIES: I am aware of just a single variety, but it is possible that another exists.
Variety 1 (formerly Variety 11-E): The 1 in the date is very close to the denticles. The second 8 is a little closer to the denticles than to the bust. The reverse is the same as described above for the 1846-C and 1847-C half eagles. Some are seen with weakness on the bottom of the mintmark.