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Philadelphia and San Francisco gold coins from the Civil War reconstruction era (1866-1878)

Owner:  Desert Gold
Last Modified:  11/26/2012
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Slot: 1866-S $5 Motto
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1866 S MOTTO
Grade: PCGS AU 53
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
Deep honey gold with satisfying underlying lustre and fresh mint bloom in the protected areas. Tiny S mintmark. From the first year of the design type with IN GOD WE TRUST on the reverse; San Francisco produced both types of the date. Scarcer in AU or finer than the mintage of 34,920 pieces suggests. PCGS has only graded three finer specimens, all AU-58. A condition rarity, certain to generate strong bids. From the Eliasberg Collection; Earlier from Bowers and Ruddy's sale of the United States Gold Coin Collection (Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr.), October 1982, Lot 514; Barney Bluestone's sale of March 1941, Lot 415 at $8.80.
Slot: 1866-S $10 Motto
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $10 1866 S MOTTO
Grade: NGC AU 53
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
With Motto variety. Two varieties of ten dollar gold pieces were made at the San Francisco mint in 1866: the No Motto (8,500 struck) and the With Motto (11,500 struck). The No Motto is scarcer but not by a vast margin. I have never seen or heard of an Uncirculated example and I think the number of properly graded AU coins numbers in the area of ten or so. This piece is lightly abraded with some luster and light orange-gold toning which is deeper at the edges than the centers. A few months ago, I was offered an inferior AU53 example of this variety for $11,500 by a knowledgeable but somewhat enthusiastic dealer. Looking back through my records, this is the finest 1866-S With Motto eagle I’ve handled since 2002 (when I sold an NGC AU55 to a collector). An important coin for the sophisticated specialist.
Slot: 1867 $5 Motto
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1867
Grade: NGC AU 55
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
Only 6,870 examples of this date were minted and the survival rate is even lower than one might expect for a Reconstruction Era gold coin. I believe there are fewer than 100 known in all grades and this is confirmed by the fact that there are just 34 graded at PCGS and another 53 at NGC (that’s 87 “grading events” which could translate to as few as 40-50 distinct coins). This slightly reflective example has typical surfaces for the issue but it lacks any of the deep, poorly situated marks that characterize most higher graded 1867 half eagles. The color is a light rose gold and there are vestiges of dirt in the protected areas of the reverse. The last 1867 half eagle in AU55 to sell was Heritage 2011 FUN: 6915 (slabbed by NGC) which was extensively abraded and inferior to this piece; it sold for $3,594. For under $4,000, this is a fantastic value as it is not far removed from the Condition Census and it is a legitimately rare coin in this grade.
Slot: 1867-S $5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1867 S
Grade: NGC AU 55
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
1867-S $5 AU55 NGC. Despite a mintage of 29,000 coins, this is an extremely rare and underrated date in the Liberty half eagle series. This lovely light yellow-gold example has a few scattered marks and traces of highpoint wear that are consistent with the grade.
Slot: 1868-S $2.5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: QUARTER EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $2.5 1868 S
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
This is exactly what you’d like all the coins in your collection to look like, if you specialize in coins that basically don’t exist in Uncirculated: ultra-choice sliders with a tiny amount of friction but with the look of an MS63. The coloration seen on this piece is fully original with lovely intense rose, green-gold and orange-hues while the surfaces have the satiny luster typical to this date. While I do not know this for certain, it is my belief that there was a small hoard of this date that broke a few years ago as I have seen a number of 1868-S quarter eagles with a similar look. A splendid example of this tougher issue.
Slot: 1868-S $5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1868 S
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
Near-Mint 1868-S Half Eagle. Only Two Finer Coins at NGC. The 1868-S Liberty half eagle is a prime condition rarity, from a mintage of 52,000 pieces. This attractive near-Mint specimen shows just a touch of wear on the high points of the design elements, with lightly abraded yellow-gold surfaces and slightly subdued mint luster.
Slot: 1869 G$1
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: GOLD DOLLARS
Item Description: G$1 1869
Grade: NGC MS 61
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
1869 MS-61 (NGC).

A sharply struck example of this low-mintage issue. Significant mint lustre is seen in protected areas, while the fields show light wear.
Slot: 1869 $10
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $10 1869
Grade: NGC AU 55
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
A rare find in all grades, the 1869 Eagle has an original business strike mintage of just 1,830 pieces. Also conditionally rare at the Choice AU level, the coin that we are offering here would serve with distinction in an advanced gold collection. Even honey-gold color blankets both sides, the surfaces brightening to more of a medium-gold appearance when the coin dips into a light. Still sharply defined despite light highpoint rub, there are also no individually mentionable abrasions even though the surfaces present as overall scuffy from circulation. The 1869 compares favorably in the rarity category to other highly regarded Liberty Eagles such as the 1858, 1859-O, 1863-S and 1866-S Motto.
Slot: 1870 $3
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: THREE-DOLLAR PIECES
Item Description: $3 1870
Grade: PCGS MS 62
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
1870 MS-62 (PCGS).
A lovely specimen of the 1870 $3, with most luster still intact on both sides. Some handling marks as expected. Warm yellow-gold color. PCGS Population: 14; 8 finer (MS-64 finest).
Slot: 1870-S $10
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $10 1870 S
Grade: NGC AU 55
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
With only a single Mint State survivor known to exist, the 1870-S Eagle is also an extremely important find at the Choice AU grade level. This heavily circulated, frontier-era issue is also very rare in AU-55 and AU-58, however, and such pieces just do not trade all that often even in the most active numismatic markets. An important find for the specialized collector, the present example is minimally worn with dominant rose-gold color to both sides. The obverse also exhibits warmer copper-russet highlights around the peripheral devices. Boldly defined with only light highpoint rub and no sizeable or otherwise worrisome abrasions. Original mintage: just 8,000 pieces.
Slot: 1871 $5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1871
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
With the mints focusing on double eagle coinage, lower denomination gold pieces were largely ignored, hence only 3,200 half eagles were struck at Philadelphia in 1871. Many of that number saw extensive circulation, which makes this AU58 example one of a select few. This sharply struck piece exhibits lovely orange-yellow toning, and lots of gleaming luster in the fields. The surfaces show a number of light abrasions, but none are particularly noteworthy. A delightful, better grade example of this rare issue.
Slot: 1871-S $5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1871 S
Grade: NGC AU 55
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
Challenging Choice AU 1871-S Half Eagle. The first 1 and the 7 in the date are repunched. Orange-gold patina covers both sides, with some minor areas of verdigris around the devices. The fields show traces of luster, and there are no mentionable marks. The 1871-S five is a very scarce issue with a mintage of only 25,000 pieces.
Slot: 1871 $10
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $10 1871
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
Business strike production of Eagles dipped to just 1,790 pieces at the Philadelphia Mint in 1871--one of the lowest total in the entire long-lived Liberty series. This is an understandably rare coin at all levels of preservation, and survivors are typically confined to VF and lower grades. A lone PCGS MS-60 represents the entire extant population of the 1871 in Mint State. All but unsurpassable in technical quality for an example of this extremely challenging issue, this near-Mint survivor would serve as a highlight in any advanced collection. Rich, deeply set, honey-gold color warms to more of a rose-gold cast when the surfaces dip into a light. There is only minimal highpoint rub and light friction in the fields, with the result that both sides retain sharp striking detail and nearly complete satin luster. Scattered abrasions are mostly commensurate with the grade, although a thin graze in the upper-left obverse field is perhaps worthy of attention. Highly desirable, nonetheless, and a definite highlight of the gold offerings in this sale.
Slot: 1872 $5
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: HALF EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $5 1872
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
The tiny mintage of 1,660 business strikes results in examples that generally show surfaces that are at least partially prooflike. This piece is no exception, with semi-prooflikeness evident on both sides, despite a short spate of circulation. The coloration is an attractive deep orange-gold, and the design elements are well brought up.
Slot: 1872-S $10
Origin/Country: UNITED STATES
Design Description: EAGLES - CORONET
Item Description: $10 1872 S
Grade: NGC AU 58
Research: View Coin
Owner Comments
1872-S Liberty Eagle, AU58, Rare in High Grade. From a tiny mintage of 17,300 pieces, the 1872-S Liberty eagle is rare in high grade, and examples in AU58 condition are quite elusive. The present coin shows just a touch of wear on the well-detailed devices, and the lightly abraded surfaces display subtle mint luster.
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