National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution
Gold Rush Collection - Heritage 1/2005:30048, $126,500 - Madison Collection - Heritage 1/2008:3159, $253,000 - Larry Hanks - D. Brent Pogue Collection
Phinehas Adams Collection - William J. Jenks Collection - John Haseltine 6/1883:375 - George Massamore - T. Harrison Garrett Collection - Robert Garrett Collection - John Work Garrett Collection - Johns Hopkins University Collection - Stack’s 3/1976:371 - Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 10/1999:863, $35,650 - Andrew Nugget, sold privately in 4/2002 - D. Brent Pogue Collection
The 1838 Half Eagle is a fairly common coin as far as Classic Head Half Eagles go. It is not as common as the higher-mintage 1834 Plain 4 and the 1836, but it is far less rare than the lower-mintage 1834 Crosslet 4, 1838-C, and 1838-D. Akers wrote that truly choice Uncirculated examples are rare, but the PCGS CoinFacts Condition Census includes ten examples that are at least MS64 or better. The finest example is a phenomenal MS68 (estimated grade) example in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, followed by a single PCGS MS66, then a PCGS MS65+ that is fully prooflike (and has actually been called a Proof in the past by both Walter Breen and David Akers). Akers was correct in noting that this date comes well struck.
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