1855-D $5 Large D (Regular Strike)

Series: Liberty Head $5 1839-1908



View More Images





Christian Gobrecht
21.65 millimeters
8.36 grams
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 140 R-7.6 43 / 112 TIE 71 / 218 TIE
60 or Better 4 R-9.8 18 / 112 TIE 31 / 218 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 112 1 / 218
Survival Estimate
All Grades 140
60 or Better 4
65 or Better
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-7.6
60 or Better R-9.8
65 or Better R-10.1
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 43 / 112 TIE
60 or Better 18 / 112 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 112
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 71 / 218 TIE
60 or Better 31 / 218 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 218

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS63 estimated grade
2 MS62 estimated grade
3 MS61 PCGS grade
3 MS61 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
5 AU58 PCGS grade
#1 MS63 estimated grade
#2 MS62 estimated grade
#3 MS61 PCGS grade
#3 MS61 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
#5 AU58 PCGS grade
Doug Winter: Beginning with this issue, the mintage figures for Dahlonega half eagles decrease appreciably. The 1855-D, like the 1857-D, is a scarce and underrated coin.

The 1855-D half eagle is usually found in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades. It is rare in About Uncirculated and most pieces in this grade range are no better than About Uncirculated-50. It is very rare in the higher About Uncirculated grades and it is extremely rare in full Mint State.

STRIKE: Many show noticeable weakness of strike at the centers. On the obverse, the curls below IBER in LIBERTY are weak while the back of the hair below the bun and the back of the neck appear very flat. This weakness corresponds to the reverse where the neck of the eagle, the shield and the top of both legs are also weak. A small number exist, however, with good overall detail at the centers. On all examples, the stars at the right appear somewhat smaller and more delicately formed than those on the left. The rims are round and have a beveled appearance but the denticles are sharp and well formed.

SURFACES: This issue is nearly always found with heavily abraded surfaces. Some are known with clean surfaces and these are quite desirable. A small number exist which have the sharpness of Mint State but which are matte-like surfaces due to seawater exposure. They are generally accorded the value of Extremely Fine coins.

LUSTER: The typical 1855-D half eagle has somewhat subdued luster which is frosty in texture. Many have been cleaned or dipped and the original luster is impaired as a result.

COLORATION: Uncleaned, original pieces can show very pleasing coloration. The hues seen most often are light orange-gold and deeper rose-gold. This is an extremely hard issue to locate with original coloration as most have been cleaned or dipped.

EYE APPEAL: Probably around three-quarters of the extant 1855-D half eagles show very flat centers. This affects their overall eye appeal and makes them difficult to properly grade. Sharply struck, original examples are very rare.

DIE VARIETIES: There are currently two die varieties known.

Variety 32-AA: Large Mintmark. On the obverse, the date is well centered in the field and it is not near the neck or the denticles. The upright of the mintmark is over the gap between the V and E in FIVE. The left edge of the mintmark is over the center of the right diagonal of the V while the right edge is over the right edge of the middle segment of the E. The mintmark is away from the stem and well below the feather.

This is the more common of the two varieties.

Variety 32-W: Medium Mintmark. The obverse is the same as on the last. The reverse appears to be the same as on Reverse W from 1854.

This variety is considerably scarcer.
David Akers (1975/88): The 1855-D has a much lower mintage than the 1855-C but it is of comparable overall rarity. It is more rare in all grades than any of the D Mint coins from 1843 to 1854 except for the underrated 1848-1850 coins, and the 1851-D in strictly uncirculated condition. Most known specimens are VF to EF and even correctly graded AU coins are very rare. I have seen a number of "salt water" AU-Unc. pieces but only two original uncirculated specimens.