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LIBERTY HEAD HALF EAGLES (MOTTO ON REVERSE) - (1866-1908)
1866 Half Eagle

Gobrecht’s LIBERTY HEAD (MOTTO ON REVERSE) FIVE DOLLARS OR HALF EAGLE: The Liberty Head Motto on Reverse or With Motto half eagle was minted from 1866 to 1908. It was designed by Christian Gobrecht and shows Liberty wearing a coronet as she faced left in profile. Her hair is tied in the back with beads while two loose curls flow down her neck. She is surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars with the date below. Dentils are near the edge of both sides of the coin. The shows the heraldic eagle with its head turned to the left. In its talons it holds an olive branch and arrows, symbols of peace and preparedness. Above its head on a banner, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added. The denomination is below. In addition to dentils, the coin has a reeded edge.

In March, 1865, a coinage act was passed that required that the motto be added to all coins large enough to accommodate it. The Mint interpreted this to mean for gold coinage the half eagle, the eagle, and the double eagle. The Liberty Head With Motto half eagle was created as a result of this mandate. (All silver coins larger than a dime also had the motto added.)

A prototype in proof only was struck in 1865. Only two are known. In 1866 dies were shipped to San Francisco for the new reverse to be struck; however, evidently they did not arrive on time and 9,000 1866 No Motto coins were struck. Later in the year 34,920 Liberty Head With Motto coins were made bearing the S mintmark.

According to the records of the United States Treasury Department, the first request for the recognition of God on coinage was made in a letter from the Reverend Mark Richards Watkinson of Ridlelyville, Pennsylvania on November 13, 1861 to Salmon P. Chase, Treasury Secretary. “You are about to submit your annual report to Congress respecting the affairs of the national finances,” Watkinson said in the letter. “One fact touching our currency has hitherto been seriously overlooked. I mean the recognition of the Almighty God in some form in our coins.” This letter set off a series of events that caused an 1864 law to be passed allowing the “In God We Trust” motto to be placed on coins and the 1865 law that mandated it. Mintages of the Liberty Head With Motto half eagle range from an extremely low 200 in 1875 to 5,708,802 in 1881. The 1875 coin is extremely rare. Both major grading services have certified only 12 in all grades and that does not account for resubmissions and crossovers.

Specifications:
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 8.359 grams (129.0 grains) (.2687 troy ounces)
Diameter: 21.6 millimeters
Composition: 90% gold, 10% copper
Gold Content: 7.523 grams (116.097 grains) (0.2418 troy ounces)

DATE NOTES
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Low mintage usually seen in VF or XF grades. Only 9 have been certified in Mint State, the highest of which is a single MS63 piece. Approximately 16 to 19 proofs are known.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Heavily circulated issue with tiny mintmark. Only 1 is certified in Mint State, an MS61.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist of this low mintage issue. Only 4 have been certified in Mint State, the highest of which is an MSPL61. Approximately 16 to 19 proofs are known.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Mint mark is very small and weak. None have been certified in Mint State. Highest certified are 5 AU58s.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Low mintage usually seen in VF or XF. Only 3 have been certified in Mint State, the highest are 2 in MS62. Approximately 14 to 15 proofs are known.
Scarce in circulated grades. Condition rarity in Mint State. Only 3 have been certified the highest of which are 2 in MS61.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Extremely low mintage usually seen in XF to AU. Only 5 have been graded in Mint State the highest of which are 2 in MSPL64. Approximately 16 to 19 proofs are known.
Usually weakly struck centers with small, weak mintmark. Very rare in Mint State with only 4 certified, the finest of which is 1 in MS62.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist, usually found in XF condition. Only 2 have been graded in Mint State; both are MS61s. Approximately 11 to 14 proofs are known.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist, usually with small, weak mintmark. None have been certified in Mint State. The highest are 3 in AU58.
First year of issue from CC Mint. Approximately 80 to 85 are known in all grades. Only 3 have been certified in Mint State the finest of which is a single MS62 example.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Extremely low mintage, usually seen in VF to XF grades. Only 7 have been certified in Mint State, and 5 of them are in MS61 condition. Approximately 11 proofs are known.
Usually found in XF to AU condition. Only 5 have been certified in Mint State, all of which grade MS61. Some have a repunched date.
Usually found in XF condition. Only 4 have been certified in Mint State, the finest of which is a single MS63.
Extremely low mintage. About 55 to 60 are known in all grades. Only 55 have been certified in all grades by both services. There are 9 certified in Mint State, the finest of which are 4 in MS64. Approximately 15 to 17 proofs are known.
Rare in all grades with most found XF to AU. Only 3 have been certified in Mint State, all of which grade MS61.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. None have been certified in Mint State. The finest are 5 in AU58.
Found with Open and Close 3 in the date. The Close 3 is slightly rarer. Both varieties are available in low uncirculated grades. The finest certified Open 3 are 3 in MS65. The finest certified Close 3 are 3 in MS66. Approximately 15 to 17 proofs are known.
Most are found in XF to AU condition. The finest is a single MS61.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Most grade G to VG. Only 2 examples are certified in Mint State, the finest of which is a single MS62.
Most are found in XF to AU condition with good strikes and prooflike surfaces. Only 9 have been certified in Mint State with the finest being a single MS64. Approximately 11 proofs are known.
Most are found in VF to XF condition with none certified in Mint State. The finest are a group of 9 in AU58 condition.
Most are found in XF to AU condition. Only 3 have been certified in Mint State, the highest of which are 2 in MS62.
Tiny mintage; fewer than 10 are known in all grades. Included in the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. Only 12 have been certified with none in Mint State. The highest certified are 3 in AU55. Approximately 13 proofs are known.
Fewer than 100 are known to exist. Most examples are well worn. The highest certified is a single MS60.
Mostly available in XF grades, usually poorly struck. Only 2 have been certified in Mint State, the finest is a single MS63 example.
Extremely low mintage coin. Approximately 45 are known to exist in all grades. Several high grades saved as souvenirs of the centennial. 13 have been certified in Mint State. The finest are 2 in MS65. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Rare in all grades, with most heavily circulated or damaged. The only Mint State example is a single MS65.
Lowest CC half eagle mintage. Most examples are heavily circulated or damaged. The only Mint State example is a single MS66 piece.
Second lowest mintage of series. Very rare in all conditions with fewer than 100 known to exist. The finest is a single MSPL66. Approximately 13 proofs are known.
Most grade G to VF. Only 3 have been certified in Mint State, the finest of which is a single MS64.
Most grade XF to AU. Only 2 have been certified in Mint State, the finest of which is a single MS62.
Available in most grades, rare above MS64. The finest certified are 3 in MS66. Approximately 13 proofs are known.
Common in lower grades; and available in lower Mint State grades. The finest certified is a single MS65 example.
Rare in all grades, most known in F to VF condition. The finest certified is a single MSPL63 example.
Available in AU to low Mint State grades. Rare in gem condition. The finest known is a single MS66 example. Approximately 15 proofs are known.
Common in XF to lower Uncirculated grades. Usually found well struck often with prooflike surfaces. Finest certified is a single MS65.
Usually found in circulated condition. Rare in Mint State with only 11 certified by both services. The finest are 2 in MS62.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS65. Finest certified are 2 MS66 examples. Approximately 20 proofs are known.
Common in grades up to MS64, but none certified above MS65, which has 20 examples.
Usually seen in XF to AU condition. Only 20 have been certified in Mint State with the finest being a single MS63.
Highest mintage of the series. Common in Mint State grades up to MS65. The finest certified is a single MS67. Look for the 1881/0 overdate of which more than 200 have been certified. Approximately 21 to 24 proofs are known.
Common in all grades up to MS64. The finest certified is a single MS67.
Rare in all conditions; most graded XF to AU. Only 9 certified in Mint State, the highest of which is a single MS66.
Common in lower Mint State grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 2 in MS66. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Common in lower Mint State grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 3 in MS66.
Common in AU grades. Rare above MS61. Finest certified is a single MS63.
Common in lower Mint State grades. Rare above MS64. The finest certified is a single example in MS67. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Available in AU to low Mint State grades. Rare above MS63. The finest certified is a single example in MS64.
Usually seen in circulated condition and available in AU grades. Rare in Mint State. The finest certified is a single example in MS64.
Most examples are found in lower grades. Most certified are from AU55 to MS62. The finest certified is a single example in MS66. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Most examples are found in lower grades. Most certified are from AU58 to MS62. The finest certified are 2 in MS65.
Most are found in circulated condition with heavy surface abrasions. Most certified are from XF45 to AU58. The finest certified is a single example in MS62.
Common in most grades up to MS64. Rare in Gem and above grades. The finest certified are 2 in MS66. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Common in most grades up to MS65. 19 have been certified above MS65, the finest of which are 3 in MS67.
Common in AU and lower Mint State grades. Only 5 certified above MS64. The finest certified are 2 in MS66. Approximately 26 to 34 proofs are known.
One of the highest mintages in the series. Rare above MS65. The finest certified is a single MS66 example.
Struck only as proofs. Approximately 36 to 39 are known.
Common date from VF to MS63. None certified above MS65. Ten examples have been certified at that level.
Scarce in all grades. Rare above MS63. The finest certified are 2 MS65 examples. Approximately 51 to 59 proofs are known.
Usually found in grades up to MS62. Most show heavy abrasion or bag marks. The finest certified are 9 in MS63.
Low mintage; rare in all grades especially above MS62. Most examples are heavily circulated and show abrasions and bag marks. The finest certified is a single MS67 example. Approximately 26 to 29 proofs are known.
Very low mintage; rare in all grades. Most found are in grades AU50 to AU58. The finest certified is a single MS68 example. Approximately 36 to 49 proofs are known.
This popular date is obtainable in grades XF to MS64. The finest certified is a single MS66 example.
Most certified examples of this date range from AU58 to MS63. The finest certified are 3 in MS65. Approximately 31 to 39 proofs are known.
This is the most common CC date of the series. Many examples show heavy abrasions and bag marks. Available in AU to MS64 grades. The finest certified are 9 in MS65.
Common date. Most Mint State examples are in the MS61 to MS64 range. The finest certified are 16 in MS67. Approximately 31 to 39 proofs are known.
Low mintage date that was extensively circulated. Only 83 pieces have been certified in all grades by both services. The finest certified is a single MS64 example.
Most coins of this date are seen in circulated condition with low Mint State examples available. The finest certified is a single MS65 piece.
Most certified pieces of this date range from XF45 to MS62. The finest certified is a single MS66.
Common in grades up to MS64. The finest are 2 examples certified in MS68. Approximately 36 to 49 proofs are known.
Most grade XF to AU58. Many come with weakly struck centers and heavy abrasions and bag marks. The finest certified is a single MS65 example.
Often found with bag marks and copper stains. Available in most grades below MS64. The finest certified is a single MS66 example.
Last year of issue from the CC Mint. Most certified of this date range from XF45 to MS63. The finest certified are 3 in MS65.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS64. The finest certified is a single MS67. Approximately 41 to 59 proofs are known.
Last year of issue from the New Orleans Mint. Most are found in XF to AU condition. Rare in Mint State above MS61. The finest certified are 4 in MS63.
Scarce in all grades. Most are heavily circulated. Rare in all Mint State grades. The finest certified is a single MS69 example that had been obtained directly from the Mint and became part of the Eliasberg collection.
Common date that is available in grades up to MS65. The finest certified are 3 in MS67. Approximately 46 to 54 proofs are known.
Most are found in XF to AU condition. Mint State examples are rare. The finest certified are 3 in MS66 condition.
Available in lower Mint State grades. The finest certified is a single MS66 example. Approximately 51 to 74 proofs are known.
Most are found in XF to AU condition with lower Mint State also available. The finest certified is a single MS67 example.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 9 in MS66. Approximately 51 to 74 proofs are known.
Scarce in most conditions, but available in grades up to MS62. The finest certified is a single MS69 example that was part of the Eliasberg collection.
Common in most grades up to MS64. Rare in Gem and above. The finest certified are 2 in MS67. Approximately 46 to 54 proofs are known.
Scarce above MS64. The finest certified are 2 in MS68. These probably are a single coin resubmitted that was purchased directly from the Mint and became part of the Eliasberg collection.
Common date which is available up to MS66. The finest certified is a single MS68 example. There is also an 1899/99 overdate variety. Approximately 61 to 74 proofs are known.
Available up to MS64. Rare in gem and above condition. The finest certified is a single MS69 example that was purchased directly from the Mint and became part of the Eliasberg collection.
Common date that is popular as first year of the new century. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 2 examples in MS68, which may represent a single con that was resubmitted. Most common proof of the series. Approximately 76 to 99 are known.
Scarce in all grades. Rare above MS64. The finest certified are 2 examples in MS68, which may represent a single con that was resubmitted. It was purchased directly from the Mint and became part of the Eliasberg collection.
Common in all grades up to MS65. The finest certified are 15 in MS67. Also found with a 19/19 overdate. Approximately 51 to 59 proofs are known.
Most common date of the series. Rare above MS66. The finest certified is a single MS68. Found with the final 1 of the date over a faint 0. Also found with an S/S mintmark.
Most certified examples fall into the AU58 to MS64 range. The finest certified are 3 in MS67. Approximately 76 to 99 proofs are known.
Type coin that is common in most grades. Most have strong strikes. Rare above MS66. The finest certified is a single MS69 example.
Usually well struck, sometimes with copper stains. Rare above MS64. The finest certified are 6 in MS67. 119 proofs have been certified in all grades by both services.
Type coin that is common in most grades. Rare above MS66. The finest certified are 8 in MS67.
Type coin that is common in most grades. Rare above MS66. The finest certified is a single example in MS68. Approximately 51 to 74 proofs are known
1904 Half Eagle $5 Liberty NGC PF67
Most are found in XF to AU condition. Mint State examples above MS62 are rare. The finest certified are 2 in MS67.
Usually strongly impressed but often with copper stains. Easily available in grades below MS65. The finest certified is a single MS68 example. Approximately 76 to 99 proofs are known.
Scarce in all grades and rare in MS65 and above. The finest certified is a single MS67 example. Also seen with an S/S mintmark.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 10 in MS67. Also seen with the overdate 1906/6. Approximately 61 to 74 proofs are known.
One of two Denver Mint issues in the series. Common in grades up to MS64. The finest certified is a single MS67.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS64. The finest certified is a single MS68.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified are 3 in MS68. Approximately 61 to 74 proofs are known.
One of two Denver Mint issues in the series. Common in most grades. Rare above MS65. The finest certified is a single example in MS68.
Common in most grades. Rare above MS66. The finest certified are 2 in MS68. No proofs were issued for this type.
Half Eagle Gold Coin

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