Buy Liberty $5 Gold Coins
- Obverse: A left facing Lady Liberty and directly beneath her the mint year is stamped with a total of 13 encircling stars.
- Reverse: Eagle at center protected by a shield and holds olive branches and a bundle of arrows. A ribbon above reads “In God We Trust.”
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History of the Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coin
So-called $5 Liberty or “coronet” half-dollar coins are some of the most important in U.S. history. To understand why, we have to go back to when Half Eagles were first minted by the U.S.
Half Eagle coins were the first gold coins minted by the U.S., authorized in 1792 and going into production in 1795. Production of Half Eagles continued until 1929, so they are the gold coins with the longest track record in U.S. minting history.
Half Eagles have a denomination of $5, and they typically contain about a quarter ounce of pure gold. Thanks to their small sizes, Half Eagles were used frequently throughout the 1700s and 1800s.
The Introduction of $5 Liberty No Motto Gold Half Eagles
Starting in 1839, a new variation of the Half Eagle coin was minted. The $5 Liberty Motto Half Eagle gold coin was created in two different varieties: first with no motto and the other with the motto “In God We Trust.”
The No Motto variation of the $5 Liberty Half Eagle was created first, and they tend to be much rarer compared to Half Eagle coins with the national motto. Because of this, these are oftentimes more valuable and can be sold to collectors or melted down for their gold for a bigger profit.
$5 Liberty With Motto Half Eagles
The second key variety of the $5 Liberty Half Eagle coins contained the motto “In God We Trust.” These were minted in 1866 after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln when many Americans wanted a reinforcement of the national faith on their currency.
The motto was added to the companion $2.50 Liberty Quarter Eagle and the $10 Liberty Half Eagle, as well. You can find the motto on the $5 Liberty Half Eagle on a banner floating above the eagle on the reverse side of the coin.
Both variations of the $5 Liberty Half Eagle are made of 90% pure gold and 10% copper.
What Are the Design Features of the Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coin?
The $5 Liberty Half Eagle features a classic design that makes it a favorite among collectors to this day.
On the obverse side, you’ll find a traditional bust of Lady Liberty in profile. She faces left toward the horizon. Lady Liberty’s hair is tied up in a bun and held in place with a string of beads. You’ll find the entire side ornamented with a coronet that has the inscription “liberty” over her head. Thirteen stars also surround the head of Lady Liberty to represent the original states of the U.S.
On the reverse side is an American eagle. The breast of the eagle is shielded, and the wings are spread wide. The talons of the eagle clutch both olive branches for peace and arrows for war. This is the same overall design on the $10 Gold Eagle coin, originally minted in 1838, and the $2.50 Quarter Eagle coin, originally minted in 1840.
Notably, when Gobrecht commissioned the $5 Liberty Half Eagle coin, the value denomination on the coin’s surface was changed from “5 D” to “Five D.”
How Much Is a Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coin Worth?
The face value of a Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar coin is, of course, $5. However, these coins are particularly valuable and rare since they haven’t been minted for well over a century.
As a good rule of thumb, you should expect to pay several hundred dollars for a $5 Liberty coin at a bare minimum. Remember, there’s pure gold in these coins (90% of their weight is pure gold, in fact), so you aren’t just paying for the historical value — you’re also paying for the precious mineral it contains.
Many extremely rare coins, especially those with errors, have sold for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on open auctions. This isn’t to say any Liberty Half Eagle will charge the same price, of course. Still, these are valuable collectors’ items and are priced accordingly.
How Rare Are Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coins?
Many Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar coins are quite rare and valuable, and rarity is usually determined based on the minting location, whether or not the coin has any errors, and which of the two primary varieties (with or without the motto) a coin happens to be.
For example, there aren’t any standout rarities from the New Orleans issues of the $5 Liberty Half Eagle coins, aside from the 1841-O $5 Liberty Half Eagle coin: This coin is practically unknown in any collection, though U.S. mint records indicate that 50 of these pieces were struck. Many of them may have been melted after coining, though.
On the other hand, low mintage and low availability coins from the Dahlonega and Charlotte mints are particularly sought after because of their overall rarity. The rarest coins from these include:
• 1842-D Large Date coins, which were minted in 1842 and which have larger than average date marks
• 1842-C Small Date coins, also minted in 1842, with small, difficult-to-see date marks on their surfaces
If you’re looking for another rare $5 Liberty Half Eagle coin, you should go after the 1854-S coin from the San Francisco Mint. This is the rarest regular production of the No Motto Half Eagle coin. There were only 268 of these Half Eagles struck in the first year of the San Francisco Mint’s operation, and only three pieces have been recovered to date.
Meanwhile, the most common $5 Liberty Half Eagles are those struck in Philadelphia, so they aren’t as valuable as their counterparts.
Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coin Minting Locations
The $5 Liberty Half Eagle was minted at five different locations:
• Philadelphia, with a P mint mark
• Charlotte, with a C mint mark
• Dahlonega, with a D mint mark
• New Orleans, with an O mint mark
• San Francisco, with an S mint mark
With all of these coins, you’ll find the mint mark based on the reverse side below the eagle but above the word “FIVE,” denominating the coin as a $5 piece.
Over the 28 years of the $5 Liberty Half Eagles’ minting run, 9,114,049 pieces were produced from the five collective mints. This high number means these are neither the rarest nor the most common American coins you can collect.
Why Purchase Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar Coins?
If you’re a collector, there’s an obvious reason you might want to find $5 Liberty Half Eagles: they’re rare, valuable, and a piece of American history. Many of these coins were used in everyday American life, and their pure gold value gives them a bit of added historical weight that’s impossible for many coin collectors to ignore.
However, you might also want to purchase Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar coins for asset safety purposes. The ups and downs of today’s economy make some feel precarious about keeping their hard-earned money and lifetime savings in the stock market.
By putting your money into real assets, like gold coins and other precious metals, you’ll ensure that your money remains valuable years into the future. American Hartford Gold can help you find Liberty Half Eagle 5 Dollar coins and other gold coins, plus set you up with a gold IRA for long-term retirement security.