Market Analysis: An otherwise very costly 1824 half eagle

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When it comes to a “filler” coin, this 1824 Capped Head gold $5 half eagle graded Genuine, Plugged, Damaged by Numismatic Conservation Services fits the bill.

John Dannreuther and Harry W. Bass Jr. observe in their book Early U.S. Gold Coin Varieties that there is just one variety of the year, with an estimated mintage of 7,500 to 17,340 (the latter number used by the “Red Book”) and with an estimated 30 to 40 known today.

The authors write, “It is possible that some or all of the 1823 and 1824 issues were struck before those coins dated 1822.”

All gold half eagles from the 1820s are a prize, they write, and “would be considered extreme rarities if they were part of most other coin series.”

This one has a plugged hole and the mushy surfaces suggesting sweating, where a soft gold coin was rattled around to remove surface gold.

Few 1824 Capped Head half eagles trade hands and one could spend years finding one under $25,000. This one sold for $3,840 at a Heritage auction on Jan. 16.

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