Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $5 (1839-1908)
Mint: Charlotte
Mintage: 28,184
Catalog: KM-69
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3590g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $275.55 (10/4/2015)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1842 C SMALL DATE $5 MS obverse 1842 C SMALL DATE $5 MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

Any 1842-C half eagle is a valuable and scarce coin, but when die varieties are considered, one sticks out: the Small Date, which forms a distinct, small minority of survivors. Doug Winter, in his Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint, gives an excellent summation of this prized rarity: 'There were two varieties of half eagle struck at the Charlotte Mint in 1842. It is easy to determine that the Small Date coins were struck first as they show the same date size as on the Charlotte half eagles dated 1840 and 1841.

The 1842-C Small Date is the rarest Charlotte half eagle. It is also the second rarest Charlotte coin, trailing the excessively rare 1849-C Open Wreath gold dollar. This variety has long been considered a full-fledged member of the Charlotte half eagle series and no date set is truly complete without an example.'

Out of a blanket mintage of 27,578 pieces, Winter assigns a mintage of just 4,595 pieces to the Small Date variety, and comparison to nearby issues reveals how small this figure is, even in the context of early Charlotte half eagles. Further contemplating the scenario is the question of strike, which further subdivides the Small Date variety into State I and State II coins, based on whether or not the coins show a rim cud near 12 o'clock on the reverse. Winter speculates that the perfect-die coins are part of ' ... the first 2,555 pieces which were produced on March 22, 1842.'

As Winter writes in his summation for the issue, 'The 1842-C Small Date is the rarest half eagle from this mint and it is the rarest collectible coin from Charlotte.'

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/27/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

Base $ - - 7750 12000 19900 29000 32000 39000 55000 95000 135000 165000 - - - - - - -
$ 22750 - - 44000 65000 - - 200000 - - - - -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 24
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 63

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/24/2009 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg May 24-27, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 53/Lot# 1272 $32,200.00
5/30/2012 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The June 2012 Baltimore Auction, 137/Lot# 4280 $5,875.00
8/2/2012 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia Session(4), 1173/Lot# 5359 $141,000.00
3/31/2013 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/31/2013, 68/Lot# 106425 $17,355.80
1/7/2015 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1216/Lot# 4293 $20,562.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1842 C SMALL DATE $5 MS
1842 C SMALL DATE $5 MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery

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The Coinage of 1842: Part Two

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The Coinage of 1842: Part One

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