The 1813-1834 Large $5 Gold Half Eagle Capped Bust Left
In 1813, the only US gold coins that were being struck were the $5.00 Gold Half Eagles. The $2.50 Quarter Eagles were last struck in 1808 and the $10.00 Eagles were no longer struck after 1804. The Half Eagle became the workhorse coin for the US Mint. At this time, it was profitable to melt the current gold coinage and much of it was destroyed via the melting pot.
John Reich’s Capped Head Left design was immediately popular. The head of Miss Liberty was larger (the longer bust portrait on the Draped Bust design was reduced) and a closer facial portrait was created. Miss Liberty, facing left, was surrounded by 13 six-pointed stars with the date directly below her bust. The reverse was virtually unchanged from the prior design.
Reich’s design was used from 1813 until 1834. Johan Reich, upset due to lack of pay, praise and advancement at the Mint, left their employ in 1817 but his design lived on. It was extensively copied in 1818 by Robert Scot, the Chief Engraver who had driven Reich from the Mint.
In 1829, the design was reworked by William Kneass and the diameter of the coin was reduced from 25mm to 22.5mm. All of the lettering, date and stars were reduced in size to look proportionate. Now the portrait appeared in higher relief and a beaded border replaced the denticles that had been part of Reich’s original design.
In 1813, the first year of striking, 95,428 coins were struck. But the next year, in 1814, a mere 15,454 coins were issued. While a scant 535 coins dated 1815 were reportedly struck, only 11 coins are known. That is the first year of the rarity of this series.
In the 1820s, mintages varied from 263,806 coins in 1820 to a minuscule 14,485 coins in 1823. But three years stand out in their extreme rarity. In 1822, 17,796 coins were minted but only three examples are known. This is a great rarity in any grade.
Although 29,060 coins dated 1825 were struck, only two 1825 coins with a complete 5 Over 4 in the date are known. The rest of the mintage has the 5 struck over a partial 4 in the date. The final rarity is 1828 with the 8 over 7 in the date, of which only 5 have been discovered.
|Date||Type||Mintage||Fine Value||Unc Value|
|1813||Capped Head Left||95,428||$5,000||$25,000|
|1814 4 Over 3||Capped Head Left||15,454||$6,000||$30,000|
|1815||Capped Head Left||635 (11 Known)||$100,000||$500,000|
|1818 All||Capped Head Left||48,588||$6,000||$30,000|
|1819 Both||Capped Head Left||51,723||$40,000||$175,000|
|1820, All 3||Capped Head Left||263,806||$5,500||$30,000|
|1821||Capped Head Left||34,641||$27,500||$275,000|
|1822||Capped Head Left||17,796 (3 known)||$1,000,000||$10,000,000|
|1823||Capped Head Left||14,485||$9,000||$40,000|
|1824||Capped Head Left||17,340||$15,000||$90,000|
|1825 5/Partial 4||Capped Head Left||29,060||$15,000||$90,000|
|1825 5/4||Capped Head Left||2 Known||$350,000||$3,500,000|
|1826||Capped Head Left||18,069||$10,000||$100,000|
|1827||Capped Head Left||24,913||$20,000||$100,000|
|1828 8/7||Capped Head Left||5 Known||$50,000||$400,000|
|1828||Capped Head Left||28,029||$35,000||$250,000|
|1829 Lg Date||Capped Head Left||57,442||$75,000||$250,000|
|1829 Sm Date||Capped Head Left||Included||$75,000||$400,000|
|1830 Both||Capped Head Left||126,351||$25,000||$100,000|
|1831 Both||Capped Head Left||140,594||$20,000||$85,000|
|1832 Curved Base 2||Capped Head Left||5 Known||$225,000||$1,000,000|
|1832 Sq. Base 2||Capped Head Left||157,487||$20,000||$100,000|
|1833 Lg Date||Capped Head Left||193,630||$20,000||$90,000|
|1833 Sm Date||Capped Head Left||Included||$20,000||$85,000|
|1834 Plain 4||Capped Head Left||50,141||$22,000||$90,000|
|1834 Crosslet 4||Capped Head Left||Included||$22,500||$125,000|
Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of $5 Half Eagle Coins (Early 1795-1838).