Coin Specifications

Category: Capped Bust $5 (1807-1834)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 58,087
Obverse Designer: John Reich
Reverse Designer: John Reich
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9160
Weight: 8.7500g
AGW: 0.2580oz
Melt Value: $475.31 (1/28/2021)
Diameter: 25mm
Edge: Reeded
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1812 $5 MS obverse 1812 $5 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

While 1812 half eagles are of interest to many of today's collectors simply as the final year of this coinage type, this should be a magical date for a reason of far more significance. George Washington and his Federalist party's political agenda of mending relations with Great Britain while at the same time bolstering the young nation's Army and Navy, and fortifying cities on the Atlantic Ocean with forts capable of warding off naval attacks, had given way to an era of belt-tightening. The Democratic-Republican party of Presidents Jefferson and Madison came into office in 1801 on a wave of voter sentiment that called for reducing the national debt from the early years of maintaining a strong military. The budgets of those two presidents cut spending for defense and passed treaties that favored trade and alliance not with Great Britain but with France, the old Revolutionary War ally. Beginning in 1809, as he entered the White House, President Madison actually believed that another war with Britain could be beneficial to the United States. Tensions rose in the American capital and spread slowly up and down the Eastern Seaboard, as commercial trade with Britain slackened. A scare spread through the former Colonies as war approached.

The British, more savvy in warfare and in diplomacy, realized that the American military was now undermanned because of budget cuts and that none of the former American military commanders who had defeated them in the Revolutionary War remained in the Army or Navy. Furthermore, as plans for a series of coastal forts were abandoned through the first decade of the new century, Britain realized that America's cities were open to invasion. When war was declared on Great Britain by the Democratic-Republican Congress in the spring of 1812, it was not Britain but America that was threatened, it was not Britain but America that temporarily lost its greatest natural ally and commercial partner, and it was not London but Washington City (as the capital was then called) that foreign troops would invade. Shortly afterward, Redcoats burned and nearly destroyed the White House, the government itself had to seek refuge, and the War of 1812--which lasted two years and eight months, from mid-June 1812 through mid-February 1815--became, in effect, America's second war of independence. Some saw disaster looming in 1812, including Daniel Sheffey, a Virginia Federalist, who wrote: 'We have considered ourselves of too much importance in the scale of nations. It led us into great errors ... we have imagined that our own destiny ... was in our own hands ...' A few citizens took action to safeguard their own welfare: As Walter Breen pointed out in his Complete Encyclopedia, a number of Mint State 1812 half eagles exist, 'apparently from an old hoard.' Doubtless, a scattering of the largest, newest American gold coins then being minted, the five dollar pieces, 'went into hiding' as those who saw the War of 1812 coming saved their gold, accounting for today's luxurious if tiny supply of pristine pieces bearing that year's date. The 1812 is the final year of the John Reich Capped Bust Left design and this is the scarcer of the two die pairings used this year. Although Mint records indicate a production figure of only 58,087 pieces in 1812, some experts have suggested that many of the half eagles delivered in 1813 may have actually been from 1812 dies.

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


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/31/2016

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

1812 $5 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - 1625 3700 4900 6800 9500 10450 10850 12000 13500 15000 18500 27500 42000 135000 250000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 76000 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 229
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 60
High Grade: 65

The chart showing F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 1/26/2021 1812 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---134847214311304127218-----229
---------------1------1
----------1-1-14------7
---------------1------1
Total---134847214411314128278-----238
 ---0%1%2%3%2%3%9%18%5%13%17%12%11%3%----- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1812 $5 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1872196323273474394845604952525454655550578360646324686679849322138691684217577184542452733211
19022084270936324152469150535324549356285877615165057239843010838148601708717869204782742234872
000000505353245493562858776151650572398430108381486017087178692047800
000000515353955522570559706237668576118876123531585117332181622250300
1812 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1776186522153324378343754756504952545336556358366089661677049007134461635317073179312388132403
18061982258534773980450248545117528154125654592062656979813810487144151659317359199142672234023
000000485451175281541256545920626569798138104871441516593173591991400
000000495151865309548757456005644073418573119661538416833176452189800
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62
Points: 6616
Owner: Ben McQuaide
 
Grade: MS 61
Points: 6089
Owner: HOBBIESSC
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.