PCGS grade. Ex. Kosoff Sale (1955) Sold by David Akers Numismatics Oct '97 Price realized $1320
David Akers (1975/88): The 1857-C is roughly comparable in overall rarity to the 1855-C and 1856-C and is generally available only in VF or EF condition. At most two or three strictly uncirculated specimens are known and even Almost Uncirculated examples are very rare.Doug Winter: The 1857-C is one of the more available Charlotte half eagles. It is relatively available in higher grades. I think it is possible that a small hoard of comparatively choice pieces may have existed at on time.
The 1857-C is one of the more available Charlotte half eagles both in terms of overall and high grade rarity. It is reasonably easy to locate in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades and only slightly scarce in the lowest About Uncirculated grades. It becomes scarce in properly graded AU55 to AU58 and rare in Uncirculated.
STRIKE: This issue shows a reasonably good strike in comparison to other Charlotte half eagles produced during the 1850s. The obverse has a good overall strike but always has some weakness on the curls below BERT in LIBERTY and on the curl beneath the ear. The rest of the hair detail is very strong. The stars are mostly sharp with many having full radial lines. The denticles are sharp as well. The reverse is usually weak on the eagle’s neck and the horizontal lines in the shield tend not to show full definition. The rest of the reverse is generally sharp with strong feathers and claws. On a few coins, I have seen weakness on the eagle’s right leg and claw.
SURFACES: There are only a few 1857-C half eagles that do not show very heavily abraded fields. This appears to be an issue that was treated roughly; the typical 1857-C has deep, detracting marks on both the obverse and the reverse. Any piece that has clean, unmarked surfaces is very rare and should command a strong premium.
LUSTER: The luster on this issue tends to be above average. Higher grade pieces are usually frosty but many show breaks in the fields due to pronounced mint-made striations. The small number of 1857-C half eagles that are slightly prooflike tend to be very abraded and, as a result, have poor eye appeal.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned 1857-C half eagles have deeper color than other Charlotte half eagles of this era. Many are deep green-gold with rich yellow-gold undertones. I have also seen a few nice natural orange-gold and reddish hues. At one time this date was relatively available with original color, but as more are dipped or processed original color has become hard to find.
EYE APPEAL: The level of eye appeal for the 1857-C half eagle is average to slightly above average. Most show a decent overall strike with the majority of the weakness confined to the centers. The surfaces are nearly always abraded and/or striated. The luster and color on some of the better survivors is very pleasing. These factors make the 1857-C a good potential type coin for the collector seeking a single higher grade eagle from the Charlotte Mint.
DIE CHARACTERISTICS: A small, thin die scratch can be seen on the obverse just past star eleven that extends out into the field. There are also occasional extensions of some of the denticles noted at the border on the obverse.
DIE VARIETIES: A single variety is known.
Variety 1 (formerly 25-J): The 1 in the date is very close to the bust and to the denticles. The 7 is centered in the field between the bust and the denticles. The reverse is the same for those produced in 1855 and 1856.