1870 Liberty Head $5 Half Eagle
1870 Liberty Head $5 half eagle gold coins were produced at the Philadelphia, San Francisco (S), and Carson City (CC) mints. 1870 marked the first year the half eagle would be struck at the Carson City, Nevada, Mint. It was also the first year that mint would strike coins in general, and did so in relatively small batches as compared to the generally more prolific Philadelphia and San Francisco mints.
Here’s a breakdown of the mintages and values of 1870 $5 Liberty Head half eagle gold coins:
1870, 4,000 minted; $700
1870-CC, 7,675; $20,000
1870-S, 17,000; $850
1870 proof, 35; $25,000
*Values are for coins grading Very Fine 20 unless otherwise stated.
The mintage figures above don’t come close to reflecting the current surviving populations of the various 1870-dated half eagles; this is especially true for the 1870-CC half eagle, which practically exists by the handful today. This is much the case for most 19th-century gold coins, which were melted in huge numbers. As an interesting note regarding the bullion content of 1870 half eagles, they contain net total of 0.24187 ounces pure gold per coin, a substantial amount indeed. Still, 1870 Liberty Head $5 gold half eagles, which were designed by Christian Gobrecht, are much more valuable as numismatic coins than bullion pieces.