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.
Despite having one of the lower mintage figures of any Dahlonega half eagle, the 1860-D is actually one of the more obtainable dates in the series. There have been a number of choice, high grade examples which have appeared for sale in the past few years.
The 1860-D half eagle is a relatively obtainable coin which is most often seen in Extremely Fine grades. It is more available in the lower About Uncirculated grades than its small figure would suggest. It becomes rare in the higher About Uncirculated grades and it is extremely rare in full Mint State.
STRIKE: The 1860-D half eagle shows a better overall quality of strike than the 1855-1859 Dahlonega issues. On the obverse, the hair below IBER is often flat while the rest of the hair is sharper. Some also show noticeable weakness on the curl below the ear of Liberty. Many of the stars are sharp and have full radial lines but it is common for some to be flat at the centers. The reverse shows weakness on the lower part of the eagle’s neck and on the leg feathers. The rims are rounded and have a beveled appearance but this is less pronounced than on the 1853-1859 Dahlonega half eagles.
SURFACES: Most show numerous abrasions. The obverse, in particular, is often very heavily abraded and has a choppy appearance. I have seen a number that had dark, mint-made grease stains in the planchet and others with reddish-purple toning spots.
COLORATION: The natural coloration of the 1860-D half eagle is usually medium green-gold or rich orange-gold. Uncleaned, original examples show very appealing color. There are not many remaining pieces with full, undisturbed color.
LUSTER: This date has above-average luster. On high grade, uncleaned pieces, the luster is typically very frosty.
EYE APPEAL: There are some very attractive examples in existence. The collector who is seeking a well struck, lustrous 1860-D with good aesthetic appeal should be able to locate a nice coin with some patience.
DIE VARIETIES: Two die varieties are known to exist.
Variety 38-EE: Large Mintmark. On the obverse, the date is small and it is placed low in the field. The reverse is very similar to that as described for 1859-D.
Variety 37-EE: The mintmark is slightly higher than on reverse W.
This is by far the rarer of the two varieties.
Variety 38-FF: Medium Mintmark. The obverse is the same as on the other variety of this year. The mintmark is close to the branch and the feather. It is tilted slightly to the right and placed above the upright of the extreme left edge of the E in FIVE.
This is the more common variety.
David Akers (1975/88):
The 1860-D is very similar in overall rarity to the D Mint Half Eagles from 1855 to 1859 but it is possibly a bit less rare in high grade than the others, except for the 1859. Softness in the strike on the head of Liberty and the eagle's neck and legs are fairly standard for this date as are the well rounded rims. A few strictly uncirculated pieces are known and I have seen several that would qualify as "choice". There are also a number of AU's in existence but most known specimens are in the VF-EF range.
Quickfinder Notes: Since the position of the mint marK under the eagle is nearly identical to the Large D, the best way distinguish is by the SHAPE of the "D". The Medium D appears to be WIDER than it is TALL. The Large D mint mark appears to be TALLER than it is WIDE.
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