Home
Newsletter
About Us
Coins For Sale
Selling Your Coins
Rare Coin Archives
Coin Collecting
Investing in Coins
Coin Information
Coin Articles
/World Coins
Books, Loupes etc.
Link to Us
Links
Contact Us
   
  Search 
  Sign up for our free NewsLetter
  e-mail: 
  Sign Up 
 


 

 

 

 




March 21, 2014

COIN OF THE WEEK

1834 HALF EAGLE $5 GOLD CLASSIC CROSS 4, NGC AU58
Click on Coin Image to enlarge


1834 $5 Classic Cross 4, NGC AU58 - $17,500.

1834 $5 Classic Cross 4, NGC AU58. The 1834 Crosslet 4 Classic Head half eagle is approximately ten times rarer than the Plain 4 variety. Few examples survive in Mint State. Both of the Smithsonian’s examples are, like the present coin, AU58s. In its population report, NGC shows 10 at the AU58 grade level.

Please contact me by email or telephone 1-800-624-1870 to reserve this great coin.

This near-Mint State, spectacularly eye-appealing 1834 Classic Head Half Eagle has original mint luster remaining within its devices. The strike is strong with full details on the centers of the stars, Liberty’s hair, and the reverse rims. The surfaces are a mixture of yellow and greenish gold, which attests to the coin’s originality. They are clean for the grade with no notable abrasion marks or other distractions.

William Kneass designed the Classic Head half eagle, which was minted from 1834 to 1838. He chose to use Reich’s Classic Head motif that was used on large cents of 1808 to 1814. Kneass also adapted Reich’s eagle from the five dollar piece of 1807. The design of the coin shows a profile of Liberty facing left. Her curly hair is held with a band that is inscribed LIBERTY. She is surrounded by thirteen six-pointed stars, with the date below. Around the periphery are dentils on both sides. The coin has a reeded edge. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle whose head is turned to the left. In its talons it holds the olive branch and arrows, symbols peace and preparedness.

The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA appears in an interrupted arc around the coin with the denomination, written as 5 D. below. Missing is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, which was removed from the reverse to signify the change in weight from 135 grains to 129. It seems that Mint Director Samuel Moore was looking for a reason to phase out the motto for several years, and the change in weight mandated by Congress was the perfect opportunity. The weight and fineness of the coin were changed in order to prevent continued melting for bullion purposes. As a result most of the original gold coins that were minted prior to1834 were turned in to the mint, much of it to be used to make the new half eagles.

Kneass (pronounced Niece) was the second Chief Engraver. He served from 1824 until his death in 1840. In addition to the Classic Head Half Eagle, his classic head motif was used on the quarter eagles of 1834 to 1839. Kneass modified Reich’s Capped Bust motif for silver coinage for the years 1829 to 1837 and the half dime in 1829.

For the last five years of his life, Kneass suffered from the results of a severe stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side. For those years, his assistant Christian Gobrecht did the die and pattern work at the Mint. When Kneass died in 1840, Gobrecht succeeded him as Chief Engraver.

Kneass was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was the second Chief Engraver of the United States Mint and served from 1824 until his death in 1840. Kneass was a field engineer in the War of 1812 and helped fortify the city of Philadelphia. He was an engraver of plates for books and had his business on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, which was a popular meeting place for people of “culture.” In addition to line engraving he also made intaglio prints.

He worked in two firms, Kneass & Delaker and Young & Kneass & Co. At the Mint, Kneass was known as a popular and useful Engraver, who worked well and quickly to furnish all the dies that were needed for coinage during his time of office. He was remembered as, “a warm gentleman of the old-school, who had the rare quality of engaging and winning the esteem and affection of children and youth.” Kneass designed the Classic Head motif for the quarter eagle and half eagle. He also was responsible for modifying John Reich’s Capped Bust design for the dime through half dollar for 1829 to 1837. In addition he modified the Capped Bust design for use on the half-dime of 1829.

The 1834 Crosslet 4 Classic Head half eagle is approximately ten times rarer than the Plain 4 variety. Few examples survive in Mint State. Both of the Smithsonian’s examples are, like the present coin, AU58s. In its population report, NGC shows 10 at the AU58 grade level.

 

Very Truly Yours,

Tom Pilitowski
www.usrarecoininvestments.com
Toll Free:
1-800-624-1870
Email: TomPilitowski@yahoo.com

 


US Rare Coin Investments 2003 - 2015 U.S. Rare Coin Investments
TERMS  |  LEGAL  |  SITE MAP
 

Have a question? Contact us here

Have a friend who might be interested?
Inform them about us now!
Your E-mail: Your Name: Friend's E-mail: Friend's Name:
Send to a Friend