Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: West Point
Mintage: 41,693
Obverse Designer: Laura Garden Fraser
Reverse Designer: Laura Garden Fraser
Composition: Gold
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 8.3600g
AGW: 0.2419oz
Melt Value: $353.80 (12/8/2019)
Diameter: 21.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF obverse 1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF reverse
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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: 4/15/2019

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

1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF UC
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 388 396 455 560

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2132
Low Grade: 65
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70

The chart showing 65 series, 66 series, 67 series, 68 series, 69 series, 70 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 12/3/2019 1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------------21122
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total--------------------21122
 --------------------95 %5 % 
1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF CA
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------------3-3
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total--------------------3-3
 --------------------100 %- 
1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF UC
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----------------122312348652107
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total----------------122312348652107
 ----------------0 %0 %0 %0 %59 %41 % 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
5/12/2004 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Teletrade Auction 1882, 1882/Lot# 1826 $264.00
11/21/2005 NGC PF 69   Ultra Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #63, 68/Lot# 1397 $310.50
5/27/2007 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Goldberg May 27-30, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 41/Lot# 636 $460.00
1/19/2012 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auctions Session(1), 241204/Lot# 19571 $402.50
1/27/2013 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 01/27/2013, 59/Lot# 92072 $460.90
3/21/2013 PCGS PF 70   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions 2013 March 21 -22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction - Dallas Session(4), 1183/Lot# 8564 $528.75
4/14/2014 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20869 $346.63
12/18/2016 NGC PF 70   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131652/Lot# 28525 $305.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF CA
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base5976206446676907177437687968248538829089169339499669901005105111381309
6056286526756997267517778058348638919119229389559749951020108011950
0000007517778058348638919119229389559749951020108000
00000076078781584387289991392794496098210001036110900
1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF UC
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base6556807037297547818118388679009259589669749901005102110361051111012061393
6636887127377637918208488789089369619699799951010102610411071114212680
0000008208488789089369619699799951010102610411071114200
00000082985788991794796397198510001016103110461090117400
1999 W WASHINGTON $5 PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base55857960262464667069572174777280082886587489190892594996699010811233
565587609631654678704730755781809840868880897914933955974102011320
000000704730755781809840868880897914933955974102000
000000712738764791819853871885902919941960982105100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 1393
Owner: Alaska Coin Nut
 
Grade: PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
Points: 1393
Owner: asdfgh
 
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