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.
David Akers (1975/88):
As one might expect from the slightly greater mintage, the 1850-D is somewhat more common than the 1850-C, although high grade specimens are just as rare. In fact, the 1850-D has the third lowest average grade of any gold dollar.
The 1850-D is one of the rarest Type One Dahlonega gold dollars. It is also among the most underrated and undervalued gold dollars struck at the Dahlonega Mint.
The 1850-D gold dollar is a rare and very underrated coin. It is most often seen in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is legitimately rare in the lower About Uncirculated grades and very rare in About Uncirculated-55. In Mint State, the 1850-D is extremely rare and it rivals such celebrated gold dollars as the 1854-D and the 1856-D.
STRIKE: The quality of strike on most 1850-D gold dollars is below average. The obverse is nearly always seen with a flat appearance. The hair above the eye of Liberty, the back of the hair and the stars show particular flatness and give the impression of wear, even on higher grade specimens. The reverse has a better overall strike. The wreath tends to be very well defined and both the date (except for the top of the 5) and the mintmark are often full and sharp. The one area which may show weakness is the LLA in DOLLAR.
The milling on the reverse (as well as on the obverse) is rarely seen with much definition.
SURFACES: 1850-D gold dollars nearly always have below average quality surfaces. It is hard to find an example which does not have excessive marks in the fields. Some show noticeable clashmarks at the center of the reverse. I have seen a number with serious mint-made planchet problems, such as laminations.
LUSTER: This date does not usually come with good luster. Most are worn to the point that little luster shows. Those that do have luster tend to have a grainy, dull texture which is not especially appealing.
COLORATION: Original, uncleaned examples show a range of coloration. The two most common hues are deep green-gold and medium to deep orange-gold. It has become very hard to locate original 1850-D gold dollars as most have been cleaned or dipped.
EYE APPEAL: I have seen very few pieces with good eye appeal. Most 1850-D gold dollars are softly struck and dull with heavily marked surfaces. Those with good eye appeal are worth a strong premium.
PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: By far the nicest example that I have ever seen or owned is the piece currently in the Duke’s Creek collection. I purchased this at a coin show in 1997. It had already been graded but it was in a holder that was excessively scratched as a result of poor handling. I decided to remove the coin from the holder but was worried that a few of the scratches on the plastic might be on the coin’s surfaces as well. When the coin was “cracked out,” I was pleasantly surprised to see that the surfaces were exceptional.
DIE VARIETIES: Only a single die variety is known.
Variety 2-C: On the obverse, the 0 in the date is larger than the other digits. One the reverse, the mintmark is small and it is positioned high and slightly to the left.
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