Important Near Mint 1854 Half Eagle Offered in our March 2021 Las Vegas Auction

​Liberty Head gold coinage from 1854 is replete with rarities across all denominations and from various mints. The most famous of these is, of course, the 1854-S half eagle, of which just three are confirmed to exist. We sold the very finest example for $1,920,000 in our March 2020 sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection, Part VII. The 1854-S quarter eagle is also an important rarity with only about 11 examples known, the finest of which was also included in Part VII of the Pogue Collection and sold for $384,000. Among double eagles, the 1854-O presents a great challenge with only about 40 known, including a superior example that brought $240,000 in our November 2019 sale.

While these branch mint issues attract the most attention for the date, the 1854 half eagle from the Philadelphia Mint presents a surprising challenge for specialists in the series. It has a mintage of just 160,675 coins, only about half of the 305,770 pieces that were struck in Philadelphia the year before. The 1854 half eagle was subject to heavy circulation and later meltings, leaving only about 325 examples across all grades. Specialist David Akers noted while writing in 1988 that: "The 1854, when available at all, is almost always just VF or EF. Strictly uncirculated examples and even accurately graded AU’s are very rare."

We are delighted to feature an AU-58 (PCGS) 1854 half eagle in lot 11641 of our  March 2021 Las Vegas Auction. It is a beautiful survivor, with hints of peach and pink luster that accent the overall golden-wheat surfaces. Just the faintest evidence of handling is noted on the high points and the reverse remains particularly undisturbed. With just 40 known in Mint State grades, this Choice AU example provides an important opportunity for collectors.

This AU-58 (PCGS) 1854 half eagle will be offered in lot 11641 of Internet Only Session 10, which opens for live bidding on Thursday, April 1st at 9:00 AM PDT. Session 10 is the final session of our March 2021 Las Vegas Auction which includes such phenomenal collections as the Washington Rainbows Collection, the D. Brent Pogue Collection, the Collection of Silas Stanley Roberts, and the Pittstown Collection. The entire sale is available for viewing and bidding on our website If you would like to consign to an upcoming sale or have questions about the consignment process, please contact us today at [email protected] or 800-566-2580.

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