1892-CC Half Eagle - 1892-CC $5 NGC AU58CAC. Carson City Half Eagle. This near-Mint State, Western branch mint 1892-CC half eagle has exceptional color and luster. The surfaces are a mixture of light and dark yellow gold with highlights of bright mint luster. Clearly the piece is original as seen in these colors. In addition the surfaces are clean for the grade with no notable abrasion marks or other distractions. The strike is above average with full details on the centers of the stars, the eagle’s neck, and the area to the lower left of the shield. The CAC sticker indicates that the coin is of premium quality and fully deserves the assigned grade.
The Liberty Head (Motto on Reverse) half eagle was minted from 1866 to 1908. It was designed by Christian Gobrecht and showed 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 reverse of the coin 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. The mintmark is on the reverse below the eagle and above the denomination.
Both before and during the Civil War almost a dozen Protestant denominations pressured Congress to add references to God to the Constitution and other government documents. Reverend Mark Richards Watkinson was the first to write to Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase to request that God’s name be added to our coinage. His suggestion for a motto was “God, Liberty, Law.” Chase ordered Mint Director James Pollock to prepare a suitable motto. Pollock’s suggestions included “Our Trust Is In God,” “Our God And Our Country,” and “God Our Trust.” Then Chase decided on “In God We Trust” to be added to most of the nation’s coinage. This motto was a subtle reminder that the North considered itself on the side of God with regard to the issue of slavery. A new law was required to allow the motto to be added since previous acts of Congress specified the mottos and devices that were permitted on coins. The new motto was placed on all coins that were deemed large enough to accommodate it.
When first discovered, gold and silver found in Nevada had to be shipped over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the branch mint in San Francisco. This trip was dangerous and expensive. The Nevada mine owners asked Congress to establish a branch of the mint in their state, and legislation was enacted in 1863. Carson City was chosen as the location for the mint facility because it was near some of the major mining sites.
In its population report, as of January 2014, CAC has confirmed 10 1892-CC half eagles at the AU58 grade level. Less than 4% of all NGC and PCGS certified 1892-CC half eagles have been given CAC stickers.
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