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SERIES: Patterns - PR
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1865 $5 J-445 (Proof)

Metal Content:
David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. The regular die with the head of Liberty facing left wearing a coronet inscribed LIBERTY. There are 13 stars around the head near the border and the date, 1865, is beneath the bust. Reverse. The regular die adopted in 1866 featured an eagle with outstretched wings and a shield on its breast. In its left talon are three arrows and in its right, an olive branch. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is near the border and the denomination FIVE D. is beneath the eagle The motto IN GOD WE TRUST is on a scroll above the eagle's head.

Comments: Since it bears the reverse design that was adopted the following year, this pattern, like the 1860 Paquet double eagle and several other gold patterns, belongs to that class of patterns properly termed transitional pieces. It is, in fact, the only transitional piece of the nine pattern half eagles.

According to the Mason and Company auction catalogue of June, 1870, only two examples of this pattern were struck. One is in the Mint Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. The other piece, which from the available photographs appears to be superior in quality to the specimen in the Mint Collection, was part of the three piece transitional gold pattern set of 1865 that was successively owned by William Woodin, Waldo Newcomer and King Farouk.