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.
The 1847-D is one of the more common Dahlonega half eagles both in terms of its overall rarity and its rarity in high grades.
The 1847-D half eagle is relatively available in lower grades. It becomes a difficult coin to locate above About Uncirculated-50 and it is rare in properly graded About Uncirculated-55. Fully Mint State pieces are very rare.
STRIKE: Most examples show a fairly good overall strike. On the obverse, nearly every known 1847-D half eagle is slightly weak on the curls. The rest of the hair is relatively sharp and both the stars and the denticles are well-formed. The reverse is often weak on the middle portion of the eagle’s neck and, sometimes, on the right leg.
SURFACES: As on most Dahlonega half eagles from the 1840’s, the 1847-D is often seen with numerous abrasions on the surfaces. This is due to the fact that these coins were widely used in commerce in the South and were roughly handled.
LUSTER: This issue shows good luster. The luster is typically frosty in texture and a few examples are known which are slightly prooflike.
COLORATION: For some reason, there are more examples of this date with intense color than any other Dahlonega half eagles from the 1840’s. The coloration ranges from deep green-gold to coppery-orange. It has become more difficult to find pieces that have not been dipped or cleaned.
EYE APPEAL: The 1847-D is a good issue for someone looking for a single Dahlonega half eagle as a type coin. Most are very well struck and have good luster and color (if they haven’t been cleaned or dipped). Locating pieces with clean surfaces, however, is very difficult.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: An interesting variety of 1847-D half eagle shows traces if extra digits to the left of the 1 and 4 in the date. At one point in time it was thought that this might represent an overdate but it is now believed that these are merely light repunchings. There are still no overdates known on any Dahlonega issues.
DIE VARIETIES: There are currently four die varieties known.
Variety 16-L: The obverse has a date which is very high and the right edge of the 7 touches the neck. The numerals are perfect and show no signs of recutting. The reverse is a reuse of the 1846-D over D but the overmintmark has been effaced due to repolishing and wear.
Variety 16-M: The obverse is the same as above. The reverse is the same as described for variety 18-M of 1848.
Variety 17-L. The obverse is the same as described below. The reverse reuses the D/D reverse of 1846 but in a late die state with the first mintmark punch no longer visible due to repolishing and wear.
Variety 17-I: The date is high but not as much so as on obverse 13. The right edge of the 7 is close to the neck but it does not touch it. There are traces if extra digits to the left of the 1 and the 4 in the date. Examples of this variety often show a crack on the reverse through FIVE and to the dot at the right of this word.
David Akers (1975/88):
The 1847-D, as a date, is more rare than the 1847-C but it is more often available in AU or Unc than the 1847-C. The 1947-D is also more rare than the D Mint Half Eagles from 1843-1846. Most known specimens are in the VF to EF range and AU and strictly uncirculated examples are very rare.
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