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: $391.85 (9/21/2019)
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: 6/21/2019

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

1812 $5 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - 1625 3625 5250 6500 8750 10450 10800 11900 12100 12700 17050 26000 46000 135000 250000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 76000 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 228
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: 9/17/2019 1812 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---144847194311294127228-----228
---------------1------1
------------1-14------6
---------------1------1
Total---144847194311304128288-----236
 ---0 %2 %2 %3 %2 %3 %8 %18 %5 %13 %17 %12 %12 %3 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
12/2/2001 PCGS VF 30   Teletrade Auction 1512, 1512/Lot# 1506 $1,736.00
8/13/2006 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2006 August Denver, CO Signature & Platinum Night Auction #414, 414/Lot# 1811 $10,925.00
7/30/2008 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114, 1114/Lot# 1950 $37,375.00
7/9/2009 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2009 July West Palm Beach, FL (Summer FUN) Signature US Coin Auction #1127, 1127/Lot# 1429 $34,500.00
1/31/2010 NGC MS 64   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 2136 $27,025.00
1/6/2011 NGC Details AU Details  David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 547, 554/Lot# 5071 $6,037.50
7/27/2013 PCGS MS 63   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4485 $22,912.50
4/20/2014 PCGS Genuine UNC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/20/2014, 186/Lot# 187770 $7,425.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1812 $5 MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1872196323273474394845604952525454655550578360646324686679849322138691684217577184542452733211
1902208427093632415246915053532454935628587761516505723984301083814860170871786920478274220
000000505353245493562858776151650572398430108381486017087178692047800
000000515353955522570559706237668576118876123531585117332181622250300
1812 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1776186522153324378343754756504952545336556358366089661677049007134461635317073179312388132403
1806198225853477398045024854511752815412565459206265697981381048714415165931735919914267220
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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