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Obverse of 1839 Eagle     Reverse of 1839 Eagle

Type of 1838

PCGS No: 8576, 8771


Circulation strikes: 25,801
Proofs: estimated 4

Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Diameter: ±26.8 millimeters

Metal content:
Gold - 90%
Other - 10% 

Weight: ±258 grains (±16.7 grams)

Edge: Reeded

Mintmark: None (for Philadelphia, PA) below the eagle on the reverse

Images courtesy of Superior Stamp & Coin

The 1839/8 “Head of 1838” Eagle is scarce but can be found readily in most grades except Mint State.  The most common circulated grade is EF-45.  Mint State examples are rare.  PCGS has graded 11 Mint State examples, the finest of which is a single MS-66.  NGC has graded 6 Mint State examples, the finest of which is a single MS-64.

In Proof condition, the 1839/8 “Head of 1838” Eagle is an extreme rarity.  PCGS has graded only 1 example, a single Proof-60.  NGC has graded 2 Proof examples, both Proof-67 Ultra Cameo and both ex-Eliasberg (since Eliasberg had only one example, these are clearly duplicate submissions of the same coin).

Recent appearances:
NGC MS-60.  Ex - Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles, Inc.'s "Benson Collection, Part I", February 16, 18-20, 2001, Lot 4071, "Large Letters", illustrated, sold for $12,650.00

PCGS AU-55.  Ex - Bowers and Merena Galleries, "The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection, Part IV Sale", November 20-21, 2000, Lot 585, "Large Letters, Head of 1838", illustrated, sold for $12,650.00  Purchased from SeRo Coins on September 26, 1967

NGC AU-53.  Ex- Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "October 2000 Long Beach Sale" October 5-7, 2000, Lot 7705, "1839/8, Type of 1838", illustrated, not sold

NGC AU-53.  Ex - Bowers & Merena Galleries' "The Lake Geneva Sale", June 28-29, 2001, Lot 1312, "Head of '38, Large Letters", illustrated, not sold

ANACS Net EF-45, Unc Details, Cheek tooled, Scratched.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s, "Summer 2001 Long Beach Signature Sale", May 31-June 2, 2001, Lot 9063, "Type of 1838, 1839/8",  plated, unsold

EF-40, Cleaned.  Ex - Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.'s "Philadelphia 2000 Signature Sale", August 6-7, 2000, Lot 5692,  "1839/8, Type of 1838", not illustrated, not sold

Sources and/or recommended reading:
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The Professional Coin Grading Service

"The NGC Census Report, April 2003" by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation