Feedback

X

Leave Comment

SERIES: Liberty Head $5 1839-1908
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1842 $5 Small Letters (Regular Strike)

View All Coin Images

Image courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

REVERSE COMPARISON

PCGS MS62
PCGS #:
8207
Diameter:
21.65 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
8.24 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
27,578
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$57,750 • NGC MS65 • 5-1-1995 • Stack's
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 107 R-7.9 39 / 112 TIE 61 / 218 TIE
60 or Better 2 R-9.9 7 / 112 TIE 13 / 218 TIE
65 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 112 TIE 1 / 218 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 estimated grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 estimated grade  
3 AU58 PCGS grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
3 AU58 estimated grade  
8 AU55 PCGS grade  
9 AU53 PCGS grade  
9 AU53 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): Contrary to popular opinion, the 1842 Small Letters is not more rare than the Large Letters variety. In my experience, and the auction data confirms it, the Large Letters variety is substantially more rare in all grades than the Small Letters variety. This is not to say that the 1842 Small Letters is not rare because it most definitely is, particularly in high grade. The typically available specimen is VF or EF and AU or Unc. examples are extremely rare.
Gordon Wrubel: By checking the great photos above, one can see the obvious differences between the Small Letter(SL) and Large Letter (LL)reverses of the 1842 $5. The SL reverse puncheons are squared, about as wide as they are tall. On the LL reverse, the letters are tall and about twice the size of the SL. The letters are crowded, almost touching at their bases. The tops of the letters are CLOSE to the rim.