Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: West Point
Mintage: 22,511
Catalog: KM-300
Obverse Designer: Laura Garden Fraser
Reverse Designer: Laura Garden Fraser
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.36g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $319.60 (9/29/2016)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1999 W WASHINGTON $5 MS obverse 1999 W WASHINGTON $5 MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Just as a circulating commemorative quarter dollar was issued in 1932 on the bicentennial of Washington’s birth, so too was a non-circulating issue minted for collectors in 1999 to mark the bicentennial of his death. On October 20, 1996 Congress authorized the striking of up to 100,000 gold half eagles to be coined and dated 1999. Proceeds from the sale of this issue would go to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which oversees the preservation of George and Martha Washington’s Virginia house and grounds of that same name.

George Washington has come to be known as “The Father of His Country,” and with good reason. Not only did he lead the Continental Army throughout the War of Independence, with its many highs and lows, he then served as the federal republic’s first president. He could have held this office for life if he desired, but Washington set the important precedent of relinquishing power after two terms.

Rather than prepare an entirely new design for the 1999 coin, the U. S. Mint revived one that had been submitted for the quarter dollar design competition in 1931. In fact, this same design, submitted by Laura Gardin Fraser, was the one selected by both the judges and the Commission of Fine Arts as the winner of that earlier contest. The final selection, however, was the prerogative of Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, and he chose the work of another finalist over the Fraser design. Though Laura Gardin Fraser would not live to see it, her superb models finally saw form as a finished coin in 1999.

The obverse features a bold rendering of the Jean Antoine Houdon bust of George Washington which is preserved at Mount Vernon. Washington faces right, with the date and mint of coining below. Fraser’s initials are at the truncation of the bust, and statutory mottoes complete this side.

For the reverse, U. S. law required the placement of an eagle on the quarter dollar, and Fraser created a very bold, heraldic presentation that is quite similar to what one might find on a public building erected in the 1930s. The eagle grasps in its right talons the arrows of war and in its left the olive branch of peace, an accidental reversal of these design elements that has occurred in United States coinage from time to time. Thirteen stars are arranged in a constellation above the eagle, while purely statutory legends balance the design above and below the central device.

As is typical for gold coins, both the uncirculated and proof editions of the George Washington Half Eagle were struck at the U. S. Mint in West Point, New York. Due to the aesthetic and historic appeal of Fraser’s vintage design, this coin was a relatively good seller as compared to similar offerings of the late 1990s. As is the norm, the proof pieces outsold uncirculated coins by a considerable margin.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/26/2014

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

1999 W WASHINGTON $5 MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 388 390 415 565

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1491
Low Grade: 66
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
10/15/2001 NGC MS 69   Teletrade Auction 1494, 1494/Lot# 1786 $263.75
8/1/2005 NGC MS 70   Heritage Auctions 2005 August San Francisco, CA (ANA) Bullet Auction #383, 383/Lot# 1938 $517.50
8/1/2011 NGC MS 70   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 606, 613/Lot# 1791 $609.50
7/19/2012 PCGS MS 69   Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auctions Session(1), 241230/Lot# 15164 $402.50
6/2/2013 NGC MS 70   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/02/2013, 77/Lot# 116210 $390.50
4/28/2014 PCGS MS 69   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3479, 6028/Lot# 20784 $705.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1999 W WASHINGTON $5 MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base733758785813840870900930961994102710601062106310641066106710691072107616092335
7417677948228508809109409721005103810601062106310641066106710701073125318510
0000009109409721005103810601062106310641066106710701073125300
0000009209509831016104910611062106310651066106810711074143100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 70
Points: 2335
Owner: Alaska Coin Nut
 
Grade: MS 70
Points: 2335
Owner: Alex J. Llorente
 
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