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1852-D $5 Gold Half Eagle

4 posts in this topic

So I've got this old coin...  I'm sure you hear that a lot and I apologize in advance for being a newbie who starts another thread like this.

I have a 1852-D $5 Gold Half Eagle that has been passed down through the family.

My 80-year old mother has asked me to help her sell it so she can pay some bills.

I am trying to figure out the best way to go about doing that in a manner that gets her the best price.

I have a friend that dabbles in coin collecting and he said that this one seems to have clearer details than most from that mint in that era.

Is it worth having it graded?  Should that be my first step?  Any other suggestions?

For the record, I am NOT soliciting a sale here..

I live in Houston, Texas if that helps.

Many thanks!

Joe Adams

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Welcome to the forum.

Given the appearance of the denticles, and the numerous hairlines, I suspect this coin was mounted in a bezel at one time. I am not sure it would receive a straight grade, if it was sent in. Since you live in Houston, you may want to try taking it to a few coin dealers or a local coin show, and get some opinions on it from someone who can view it in hand.

Your friend is right about the details, though.  It seems to be well struck, and the mint mark looks strong - something that you don't always see on branch mint half eagles from the early 1850s.

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@Just Bob

I suppose it's possible it was mounted in a bezel at some point in its history.  It's been in a safe for the past 50 years.  Prior to that, my Mom remembers it as being in a drawer of her Grandfather's dresser.  The story goes that it was sewn into the uniform of an ancestor who survived the civil war.  No way of proving that was true.

I was concerned about taking it to a dealer without knowing what I actually have as I don't want to find the wrong guy and be misled.  I'm just trying to do the best for my elderly mother.

Edited by deepcreek
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I think I would show it to 3 or 4 dealers, and get opinions on the condition and maybe offers from all of them. Dahlonega half eagles are more desirable than Philadelphia issues, and bring higher prices so, if anyone offers you melt value or slightly more, wave good-bye. I did some looking through past auctions, but only found one "problem" coin. It had been removed from a mount, and was graded AU Details by NGC. (That means that they determined that it had the details of an About Uncirculated grade coin, but had serious enough issues that they would not assign a grade.) It sold in a  Heritage Auction in December 2018 for $1140. If it were my coin, I would not let it go for anything less than $1000, and it may be possible to get more, if it is determined that it would get a grade at one of the major grading services.

Good luck.

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