Coin Specifications

Category: Liberty Head $5 (1839-1908)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 27,578
Catalog: KM-69
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.36g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $308.35 (10/25/2016)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1842 $5 MS obverse 1842 $5 MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

This is a challenging piece for the specialist, as a combined total of 27,578 Small Letters and Large Letters were struck in 1842. In their Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth note, 'The Small Letters 1842 half eagle is a very scarce coin, more so than any of the Philadelphia half eagles from 1839 to 1841. This date and variety combination is usually seen well worn. Most of the great collections that sold at auction in the last few decades lacked an example in high grade.' They further state that only one Mint State specimen sold at auction between 1991 and 2006. NGC has graded two pieces in AU50, with 14 finer (6/07). This AU50 piece shows only mild evidence of friction over the highpoints. Sharp definition is noted over all of the design elements. The green-gold surfaces are peppered with a number of small abrasions on both obverse and reverse.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/25/2016

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

1842 $5 MS
Base $ 575 600 650 800 1275 2850 4500 5950 8250 11500 15500 20500 - - 73500 120000 - - - -
$ - - - - 8750 - - - - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 23
Low Grade: 40
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/5/2001 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2001 April Indianapolis, IN (CSNS) Signature Sale #256, 256/Lot# 7755 $2,559.90
11/6/2007 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2007 November Dallas, TX US Coin Signature Auction #452, 452/Lot# 2016 $3,737.50
9/25/2013 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1189/Lot# 6771 $6,462.50
1/8/2014 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(5), 1201/Lot# 6634 $15,275.00
4/22/2015 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(4), 1219/Lot# 5331 $56,400.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1842 $5 MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 10043
Owner: boosibri
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Related Articles

The Coinage of 1842: Part Two

1/1/2007 — David Lange continues his in-depth retrospective of 1842 coinage.
View full article >
The Coinage of 1842: Part One

12/1/2006 — 1842 was a distinctive transition year for U.S. coin denominations, as David Lange demonstrates in the following retrospective.
View full article >

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