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1836 $5 Classic Head Half Eagle NGC MS64 Ex.SB Pulaski

Only 1,307 of the original mintage of 553,147 have been graded by NGC. A mere 8 of those have been graded MS64, with just 2 finer (as of 2/2021). This specimen has a lot going for it: razor-sharp strike, booming luster, fresh mint bloom on the devices. A truly beautiful relic from early American history, it is perfect for the discriminating numismatist who desires simply the best for his or her collection. This is a registry coin that will give its new owner instant cachet in the world of numismatics. It would be a shame to let this one get away.

     A coin such as this is rarely offered. Besides its great rarity, it is also a survivor of the tragic Steamship Pulaski disaster of June 14, 1838. An explosion on board resulted in her sinking 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina, with the loss of two-thirds of the passengers and crew. Around 59 people survived, while 128 perished at sea. The starboard boiler blew up at 11 p.m., causing substantial damage as the Pulaski was traveling from Savannah, Georgia, to Baltimore, Maryland. She sank in around 45 minutes. It was in 2018 that divers located 14 gold coins and 24 silver coins is a spot "no bigger than a cigar box."

      Contemporary U.S. gold coins--with a bullion value in international markets that surpassed their face value in silver--were frequently the object of melting during the pre-1834 period. The one series of gold coins that saw the most elimination through melting at that time was the $5 Capped Head half eagle of 1813-1834. However, the Mint Act of 1834 dramatically altered that practice, striking gold coins that were reduced in weight so that they would circulate--which had not happened since 1795.  U.S. Mint Director Samuel Moore wanted to get those new coins into the hands of consumers while at the same time withdrawing the gold coins of 1795-1813 from the public. Since he expected a huge demand for the new coins, Moore ordered chief mint engraver William Kneass to create a totally new design. To that end, Kneass crafted a unique dishevel-haired Liberty facing left, with thick and curly tresses held in place by a headband inscribed LIBERTY.


More Information
PCGS # 8174
Grading Service NONE
Year of Issue NONE
Grade NONE
Denom Type N/A
Numeric Denomination $5
Mint Location NONE
Designation NONE
Circ/UnCirc Not Specified
Strike Type N/A
Holder Variety Steamboat Pulaski
Grade Add On NONE
Holder Type N/A

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