Images courtesy of
David Akers Numismatics, Inc.
The 1839 Eagle is found in two
major varieties: Head of 1838 and Head of 1840. The Head of 1838 is
distinctly different from those of later years and should actually be
listed as a separate sub-Type. The most obvious differences can be seen
in the shape of the bust and the arc of the truncation line. On the “Head
of 1838”, the tip of the bust is more rounded in appearance and the
truncation line has a high arch. On the “Head of 1840” (which first
appeared in 1839), the tip of the bust is less rounded and the arc of the
truncation line is flatter.
“Head of 1840” Eagle is very rare in any grade and extremely rare in Mint
State. A small number of About Uncirculated examples are known. PCGS has
graded only 1 Mint State example, a single MS-62. NGC has graded
only 1 Mint State example, a single MS-64.
1839 “Head of 1840” Eagles have been certified by PCGS or NGC.
Because they were made later in the year, it is doubtful if any Proof
versions of the 1839 "Head of 1840" Eagle were made.
PCGS MS-65 (Type of 1840). Ex - Superior's "Wes Rasmussen"
Sale, February 1998, Lot 3469, sold for $253,000.00 - offered by North
American Certified Trading in the March 5, 2001 issue of COIN WORLD for
Uncirculated (illustrated above). Ex - the John Jay Pittman
Sources and/or recommended
"The PCGS Population Report, July 2003" by The
Professional Coin Grading Service
"The NGC Census Report, April
2003" by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation