$5 Liberty Head

The $5 Liberty Head (Coronet) Gold Half Eagle was minted 1839 – 1907 and is one of the four pieces in the “Liberty Head” series along with the Gold Quarter Eagle $2.5, the Gold Eagle $10 and the Gold Double Eagle $20.

  • Obverse: Shows Liberty, facing left, encircled by 13 stars with the word “LIBERTY” on her hair band.
  • Reverse: Features a heraldic eagle with a shield on its breast. Surrounding the eagle is “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and the denomination “FIVE D.” to represent five dollars.
  • Years: 1838-1907
  • Mints: Philadelphia, Carson City, Charlotte, Dahlonega, Denver, New Orleans or San Francisco.
  • Designer: Christian Gobrecht

History

In 1839 the $5 Gold Half Eagle coin was redesigned. The new obverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht and is known as the “Liberty Head or “Coronet head”. The reverse design remained largely the same, although the value was changed from “5 D.” to “FIVE D.“.

For those struck at the Philadelphia Mint, there was no longer any silver in the coin – its composition was now .900 gold and .100 copper. However, gold ore used at the southern branch mints of Charlotte and Dahlonega had a high natural silver content, and many of these coins contained up to five percent silver, giving them a distinct so-called “green gold” color.

Its weight was virtually the same, 8.359 grams, but the diameter was reduced one final time, to 21.6 mm, in 1840, for a gold content of 0.242 Troy Oz. This design was used for nearly 70 years, from 1839 to 1908, with a modest change in 1866, when “IN GOD WE TRUST” was placed on the reverse above the eagle.

The Liberty Head half eagle is the only coin of a single design to be minted at seven U.S. Mints: Philadelphia, Dahlonega, Charlotte, New Orleans, San Francisco, Carson City, and Denver.

Scarcer dates and coins of higher grades can be worth much more, and all Charlotte, Carson City and Dahlonega pieces are scarce and valuable.

At Atlas we have access to a wide range of $5 Liberty Heads with a variety of dates and mint marks.