1864 Liberty Head $5 Half Eagle
1864 Liberty Head $5 half eagle gold coins were struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco (S) mints. The Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans mints, which had historically struck half eagles earlier in the Liberty Head $5 gold coin series, stopped producing federal coinage in 1862 after the start of the Civil War. Thus, the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints were the only mints striking half eagles at the time. This severely cut down on the output of these $5 gold coins, meaning issues from many U.S. coin series from the Civil War period are scarce today. Liberty Head half eagles are certainly no exception to that rule.
Here’s a look at the mintages and values of 1864 $5 Liberty Head half eagle gold coins:
1864, 4,170 minted; $1,250
1864-S, 3,888; $10,000
1864 proof, 50; $35,000
*Values are for coins grading Very Fine 20 unless otherwise stated.
In general, mintage figures don’t usually correspond to current population numbers, which are now much lower than the mintages listed above may suggest. All 1864 $5 half eagles are quite scarce and are much more valuable as numismatic coins than bullion coins. Still, 1864 half eagles contain a net total of 0.24187 ounces pure gold per coin, a substantial figure indeed. An interesting footnote for coin collectors is that Christian Gobrecht designed 1864 Liberty Head $5 gold coins. He also designed Seated Liberty silver coinage of the 19th century.