1838-C $5 Classic Head Half Eagle PCGS VF35
Early Half Eagle $5 Gold Pieces, 1795-1838
Five-Dollar Gold Pieces were the first gold coins struck at the United States Mint. Authorized by the Act of April 2, 1792, they were struck in six different Varieties between 1795 and 1838. These Varieties include:
- 1795-1798 Small Eagle Reverse Type
- 1795-1807 Heraldic Eagle Reverse Type
- 1807-1812 Capped Draped Bust to Left Type
- 1813-1829 Capped Head to Left Type
- 1829-1834 Capped Head to Left, Modified Reverse Type
- 1834-1838 Classic Head Type
All Half Eagles were minted at the Philadelphia Mint prior to 1838, when the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints coined limited amounts of the "classic head" Half Eagles pieces. Rising bullion prices after 1800 forced most Half Eagles out of circulation and into the melting pots of profit-minded bullion dealers. This, combined with low original mintages, accounts for the fact that no large amount of these coins exist today.
Among the legendary rarities of this series are the 1798 with small eagle reverse (seven pieces known), the 1797 with 16 obverse stars, the 1815, the 1819, the 1822 (3 known pieces), the 1825 5 over 4 (2 known pieces), and both varieties of the 1829.
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