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HomeCollecting StrategiesA Seven-Mint Liberty Head Half Eagle Set on Steroids

A Seven-Mint Liberty Head Half Eagle Set on Steroids

A Seven-Mint Liberty Head Half Eagle Set on Steroids

Half Eagle Collecting by Doug WinterRareGoldCoins.com ……

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I’ve written before on collecting a seven-mint set of Liberty Head half eagles. In case you’ve forgotten, the Liberty Head half eagle is the only American coin to have been struck at all seven of the mints that produced vintage US designs. These are as follows:

  • Carson City: 1870-1893
  • Charlotte: 1839-1861
  • Dahlonega: 1839-1861
  • Denver: 1906-1907
  • New Orleans: 1840-1909
  • Philadelphia: 1839-1908
  • San Francisco: 1854-1906

Unless you set ridiculously high standards (like all coins must grade MS65 and finer), this set isn’t especially hard to assemble.

How about bulking it up with some extra coins that fit the set perfectly but that also make the set more interesting?

For the Carson City issues, I’d suggest expanding by seeking to obtain one nice coin from each of the three decades these coins were produced. You’ll be looking at three coins; one each from the 1870s, the 1880s, and the 1890s. The first decade is challenging in AU55 and higher, and any Uncirculated CC half eagle from the 1870s is very rare. The 1880s date is reasonably easy to locate in circulated grades but challenging in Uncirculated. The 1890s date should be available in grades up through MS64. Total coins: 3.

1839-C $5.00 PCGS AU50 half Eagle - Images courtesy Douglas Winter Numismatics

1839-C $5.00 PCGS AU50. Images courtesy Douglas Winter Numismatics (DWN)

The Charlotte issues consist of three types: Obverse mintmark (1839 only), Reverse mintmark with Small Letters (1840-1843), and Reverse mintmark with Large Letters (1844-1861). The 1839-C is extremely scarce in Uncirculated but a nice AU coin should be available. The other two types are more common in higher grades and are pretty affordable in EF and AU. Total coins: 3.

1839-D $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC. Half Eagle Images courtesy Doug Winter

1839-D $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC

The Dahlonega issues consist of the same three types except that the Small Letters reverse was used only through 1842. The one-year obverse mintmark type is rare in Uncirculated, while the Small Letters reverse is challenging to locate in MS60 or finer. With some patience, nice examples of all three designs should be available. Total coins: 3.

1906-D $5.00 PCGS MS66+ CAC. half eagle Images courtesy Doug Winter

1906-D $5.00 PCGS MS66+ CAC

I’d stick with the one issue from Denver and would probably choose the 1906-D over the 1907-D given its status as the first-year-of-type. Total coins: 1.

1840-O $5.00 PCGS MS62. Images courtesy Doug Winter

1840-O $5.00 PCGS MS62

The New Orleans issues consist of three types: No Motto with Small Letters reverse (1840-1843), No Motto with Large Letters reverse (1843-1857), and With Motto (1892-1894). All three of these types are available in Uncirculated although the No Motto Small Letters design is very challenging in higher grades. Total coins: 3.

1839 $5.00 PCGS MS63 CAC. Images courtesy Doug Winter

1839 $5.00 PCGS MS63 CAC

The Philadelphia issues consist of four types: First Liberty Head (1839), Second Liberty Head with Small Reverse Letters (1840-1842), Second Liberty Head with Large Reverse Letters (1842-1865), and the With Motto type (1866-1908). Note that the first three designs are the No Motto type. You’ve got tremendous flexibility with these four issues as dates range from extremely common to very rare. Total coins: 4.

1866-S NO MOTTO $5.00 PCGS AU50 CAC. Images courtesy Doug Winter

1866-S NO MOTTO $5.00 PCGS AU50 CAC

Finally, the San Francisco issues consist of two types: No Motto (1854-1866) and With Motto (1866-1906). An interesting transitional pair exists for 1866-S as both the No Motto and With Motto designs are seen in this year. The No Motto issues are quite rare in Uncirculated, while most of the post-1878 With Motto half eagles from San Francisco are common in higher grades. Total coins: 2.

1866-S WITH MOTTO $5.00 PCGS AU55 CAC. Images courtesy Doug Winter


This set consists of 19 Liberty Head half eagles and it can be assembled on the cheap (for around $25,000 USD) or with Condition Census or Finest Known coins for a high six-figure amount.

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Doug Winter Numismatics, specialists in U.S. gold coins


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Doug Winter
Doug Winterhttps://www.raregoldcoins.com
Doug Winter founded Douglas Winter Numismatics (DWN) in 1985. The nationally renowned firm specializes in buying and selling rare United States gold coins. He has written over a dozen books, including the standard references on Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans gold coinage, and Type 1 Liberty Head Double Eagles. Douglas has also contributed to the A Guidebook of United States Coins, Walter Breen’s Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Coins, Q. David Bowers’ Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars, and Andrew Pollock’s United States Pattern and Related Issues. He is a member of the PNG, the ANA, the ANS, the NLG, CAC, PCGS, and NGC - among other professional affiliations. Contact Doug Winter at [email protected].

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