The Survival Estimate represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in three categories: 1) all grades, 2) 60 or better, and 3) 65 or better. These estimates are based on a variety of sources, including population reports, auction appearances, and personal knowledge. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Numismatic Rarity converts the Survival Estimate for a particular coin into a number from 1 to 10 (with decimal increments) based on the PCGS Rarity Scale. The higher the number, the more rare the coin.
Relative Rarity By Type
Relative Rarity By Type ranks the rarity of this coin with all other coins of this Type. Lower numbers indicate rarer coins.
Relative Rarity By Series
Relative Rarity By Series ranks the rarity of this coin with all other coins of this Series. Lower numbers indicate rarer coins.
As you can see by the great photos above, there are obvious differences between the Large Letter (LL) and Small Letter (SL) reverses of the 1842 $5. The puncheons on the LL are tall and about twice the size of the SL. They are crowded, almost touching at their bases. The tops of the letters are CLOSE to the rim. The SL reverse puncheons are squared, about as wide as they are tall. The letters are widely spaced and AWAY from the rim.
David Akers (1975/88):
For years the 1842 Large Letters has been claimed to be more common than the 1842 Small Letters. However, as the auction records clearly show, this is not the case. The Large Letters variety appears at auction only half as often as the Small Letters variety. In fact, the 1842 large Letters has fewer auction appearances than any other Philadelphia Mint Liberty Head Half Eagle except the 1875. It is an extremely rare coin.
PCGS is not responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of Ebay listings.