Coin Specifications

Category: Indian Head $5 (1908-1929)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 662,000
Catalog: KM-129
Obverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Reverse Designer: Bela Lyon Pratt
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3600g
AGW: 0.2420oz
Melt Value: $319.42 (7/25/2016)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1929 $5 MS obverse 1929 $5 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

With a substantial mintage of 662,000 pieces, one would not expect the 1929 half eagle to be a scarce coin. Mintage notwithstanding, the issue is decidedly scarce today, especially in circulated grades. In United States Gold Coins an Analysis of Auction Records, David Akers made the following observations: 'The 1929 is a rare date, the rarest in the Indian Head Half Eagle series from the standpoint of total number of specimens available. However, since almost all known specimens are AU or uncirculated, many of them very choice, the 1929 is not nearly as difficult to obtain in mint state as most of the mintmarked dates of the series. I would estimate that several hundred specimens exist and the majority of them are fairly choice.' Recent population data from third-party grading services seems to support Akers' observations, when adjusted for resubmissions.

The reason for the scarcity of this date is undoubtedly the gold recall of the 1930s. In 1929, half eagles had not been minted for 13 years, and the denomination was never produced afterward. Clearly, the coins saw no demand from the general public, and most examples remained in Treasury vaults or banks. When Roosevelt issued his Presidential Order to recall all non-numismatic gold coins, the great majority of 1929 half eagles were turned in to be melted.

The rarity of the 1929 half eagle was not recognized until an example appeared in the Flanagan Collection (Stack's, 3/1944), lot 1195. The cataloger described the coin as, '1929 Last year of issue, brilliant uncirculated, very rare. (75.00).' When this lot was called, a spirited bidding war ensued. Instead of the estimated $75, the lot closed at $225, an extremely large sum at the time. The reputation of the 1929 half eagle as a rare and desirable coin was established, and has not subsided to this day.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 10/12/2015

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

1929 $5 MS
Base $ - - - - 18000 19500 21500 25000 31000 34000 38000 43500 51000 73500 118000 - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 45500 65000 95500 - - - -

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Total Graded: 214
Low Grade: 45
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/13/2000 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1377, 1377/Lot# 1641 $7,174.00
5/30/2005 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 30 - June 16, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 31/Lot# 977 $17,250.00
11/29/2006 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2006 November Dallas Signature Coin Auction #420, 420/Lot# 2351 $20,706.90
12/8/2010 PCGS MS 64   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18404/Lot# 2348 $42,120.00
7/15/2012 PCGS MS 62   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/15/2012, 31/Lot# 63255 $30,800.00
7/27/2013 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4501 $70,500.00
8/12/2015 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(2), 1223/Lot# 4412 $49,350.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1929 $5 MS
Registry Image Gallery

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