Coin Specifications

Category: Capped Bust $5 (1807-1834)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 95,428
Obverse Designer: John Reich
Reverse Designer: John Reich
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9160
Weight: 8.7500g
AGW: 0.2580oz
Melt Value: $475.01 (1/28/2021)
Diameter: 25mm
Edge: Reeded
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1813 $5 MS obverse 1813 $5 MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

In 1813 the half eagle was the only U.S. gold denomination being produced. Gold eagles had not been made since 1804 (they were resumed in 1838), and quarter eagle production was interrupted from 1808 until 1821. The Capped Head half eagles, produced from 1813 to 1834, were made during a period when widespread melting took place. Most of the coins never circulated, and they frequently went straight from the Mint into the hands of bullion dealers. Some forty thousand pieces of 'recent mintage' were destroyed in a single Paris melt in 1831, according to Walter Breen.

The reason for this mass melting of U.S. gold coinage was simple: the Coinage Act of 1792 had established a 15:1 ratio between silver and gold, but by 1813 the ratio in Europe was 16:1 or more. All circulating U.S. gold coins were now worth more than their face value in silver, as bullion dealers swiftly realized. Fifteen ounces of silver would buy one ounce of gold in the United States, but that same ounce of gold would bring sixteen ounces of silver in Paris or London. The 1813 half eagle is important to collectors for several reasons: First, it is the initial year in the Capped Head series. Second, it is by far the most affordable and obtainable date in the series, a series which few would dispute is the most difficult in all of U.S. numismatics. Of the seventeen major issues (excluding varieties) in this series, only the 1813, 1814/3, 1818, 1820, 1823, and 1826 are offered for sale with any degree of regularity. This means that the 'average' Capped Head half eagle issue is a rarity.

According to Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth, writing in The Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795-1933 (2006): 'The Capped Head to Left, Large Diameter type, issued from 1813 to 1829, contains some of the greatest rarities in American numismatics--coins such as the 1815 half eagle, the 1822 (three known), the 1825/4 (two known), and the 1829 Large Date. Most of the dates in this series have low mintages, usually below 50,000 coins. The 1820 half eagle has the highest mintage (263,806 coins), and the 1815 has the lowest (635 coins). Some dates, such as the 1819, have a reasonably high mintage (51,723 coins) but remain extremely rare today.' It is possible, however, that as many as 500 pieces still exist, and perhaps a few more. Many of the known examples have survived in Mint State, including quite a few near-Gems. However, the population drops off dramatically at the Gem level, and any 1813 half eagle in MS65 or better condition is an extreme rarity.

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: 1/31/2017

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

1813 $5 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 1350 1900 4100 5450 7300 9750 10750 11850 12400 13750 15750 18350 26500 48000 157500 300000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - 400000 - -

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: 296
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 1813 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---1141092231577355634245-----296
----------1-----------1
------------132-------6
-----------------------
Total---1141092231587365936245-----303
 ---0%0%1%3%3%7%10%19%2%12%19%12%8%2%----- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1813 $5 MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111111111111111111
1111111111111111111111
0000001111111111111100
0000001111111111111100
1813 $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111230224642754321636013786390240674172426145915367654598541108114175184762453833204
117682356256029083344366238243957410242014371484957597648102631211215608204962742634864
00000033443662382439574102420143714849575976481026312112156082049600
00000034723724386340124137423144815108615287511067213143170422251700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 5367
Owner: Ben McQuaide
 
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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.