1838-D $5 Classic Head PCGS XF45. In the increasingly interesting “old green holder” certified by PCGS between 1993 and 1998. See the PCGS Museum of Coin Holders here: PCGS
The 1838 Classic Head and 1839 Liberty Head gold $5 Half Eagles struck at the southern Charlottte and Dahlonega mints have the distinction of being one of two denominations of U.S. Federal coins with the mintmark on the obverse. The other is the 1839 Classic Head gold $2.50 Quarter Eagle also struck at the southern Charlottte and Dahlonega mints but including the New Orleans mint.
Obverse mintmark gold is a fascinating anomaly and is collected widely by those who are putting together a RedBook Type set, collecting First or Last Year-Of-Issue, collecting branch mints or just collecting the series in general. In other words, demand far outstrips the supply.
The present coins shows a beautiful AU detail and nice rich, orange coloration. We feel the coin may have been net-graded to the XF45 grade due to a couple of lines in the left obverse field which can be seen in our close-up images.
A great coin for the value buyer. This coin was last seen at public auction at the Boston ANA in 2010. Heritage listed it as lot number 5930 and described it as “…McCloskey 1-A, R.3. The only die marriage known for the 1838-D half eagles, with a production of 20,583 coins from the well made dies. Housed in a green-label PCGS holder is a Choice XF example with hints of green and rose on the deep yellow surfaces. A few faint scratches and abrasions are visible on each side.” See this Link. It realized $5,750. Since 2010, we can account for only two other appearances for XF45 graded coins (both NGC and PCGS). These occurred in August of 2015 when Heritage sold one for $8,225 and Stacks sold another this past March out of the Blue Moon collection for $7,638 – that’s IT-! AU50’s always tend to bring five-figures today and an XF40 sold for $6,463 this past January.