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

1847-C $5 (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS63

PCGS MS62

PCGS MS61
PCGS #:
8233
Diameter:
21.65 millimeters
Designer:
Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
8.24 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
84,151
Metal Content:
90% Gold, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$47,150 • PCGS MS65 • 4-25-2002 • Heritage
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535
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1,000
1
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1,150
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1,550
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1,650
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1,750
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1,850
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1,900
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23,000
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62
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25,000
62+
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 500 R-6.0 96 / 112 TIE 136 / 218 TIE
60 or Better 10 R-9.5 59 / 112 TIE 87 / 218 TIE
65 or Better 2 R-9.9 12 / 112 TIE 18 / 218 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  

Colonel E. H. R. Green - King Farouk of Egypt -  Sotheby's “Palace Collection” 3/1954:251 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 10/1997:982, $44,000 - Heritage 4/2002:6986, $47,150

2 MS63 PCGS grade
2 MS63 PCGS grade  
4 MS62 PCGS grade  
4 MS62 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS65 PCGS grade  

Colonel E. H. R. Green - King Farouk of Egypt -  Sotheby's “Palace Collection” 3/1954:251 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 10/1997:982, $44,000 - Heritage 4/2002:6986, $47,150

2 MS63 PCGS grade
2 MS63 PCGS grade  
4 MS62 PCGS grade  
4 MS62 PCGS grade  
4 MS62 estimated grade  
7 MS61 PCGS grade
7 MS61 PCGS grade  
7 MS61 PCGS grade  
7 MS61 PCGS grade  
David Akers (1975/88): This is the first year of high production for the Charlotte Mint with the mintage of the 1847-C nearly doubling that of any previous Half Eagle from this Mint. In fact, the 1847-C has the highest mintage of any C Mint Half Eagle from 1838-1861. From this, one might expect the 1847-C to be the most common C Mint Half Eagle and it is as "common" as any other $5 from this Mint in lower grades. However, in AU or Unc it is one of the rarest and I have seen only a few AU's and just one unc. Therefore, despite the comparatively high mintage of the 1847-C, the collector can once again reasonably expect to find only VF or EF examples.
Doug Winter: The 1847-C has the highest mintage of any half eagle produced at the Charlotte Mint. It is one of the more available issues although it is much scarcer in higher grades than some of the relatively obtainable issues from the 1850s.

The 1847-C is one of the most common Charlotte half eagles. It can be located with relative ease in Very Fine and Extremely Fine grades and is moderately scarce in the lower AU grades. It becomes very scarce in properly graded AU58 and is both very rare and undervalued in full Mint State. I know of three coins in MS63 and a single Gem.

STRIKE: The quality of the strike seen on 1847-C half eagles varies. There are some that are very well struck. The typical coin, however, shows an average quality strike. The obverse is often weak on the curls around the face below the ear. The stars are generally well detailed with many having complete radial lines. The denticles are sharp and well formed. The reverse shows weakness on the neck of the eagle, the right leg, and less often, on the left leg. The lettering and the denticles tend to be sharp.

SURFACES: The commercial demand for half eagles in North Carolina was at its peak from 1847 through the mid-1850s. As a result, mintages were comparably high and these coins saw relatively heavy circulation. Many 1847-C half eagles are characterized by heavily abraded surfaces. The obverse is usually more heavily abraded than the reverse. For some reason, more examples of this date show rim marks than do other dates from this era.

LUSTER: The luster is above average. Original, uncleaned pieces have luster that is very frosty in its texture. Some are known with slightly reflective obverse fields. The luster on many examples is impaired as result of cleaning or dipping and locating original, choice pieces has become very difficult.

COLORATION: The natural coloration is a distinctive medium to deep green-gold. Sometimes, underlying orange-gold hues are seen. Locating an 1847-C half eagle with pleasing natural color has become especially challenging and such coins are now quite rare.

EYE APPEAL: In the past, it was possible to find 1847-C half eagles with good eye appeal. This has become extremely difficult as most have been cleaned or dipped.

DIE CHARACTERISTICS: Raised die scratches join the back of the neck with the lowest curl. These are only visible on high grade examples.

DIE VARIETIES: There are two varieties known. I believe that others may exist, given the relatively large mintage figure.

Variety 1 (formerly Variety 9-E): The 1 is close to the bust but there is some space between this digit and the underlying denticles. The 7 firmly touches the truncation. The reverse is the same as described above for the 1846-C.

Variety 2 (formerly Variety 10-E): The 1 in the date is not as close to the bust as on variety 1 and the base of this digit is closer to the denticles. The 7 is close to the truncation but it does not touch. The base of the 7 is closer to the denticles than on Variety 1. The reverse is the same as described above.