|Half Eagle 1839 - 1861||Liberty Head 1839 - 1861|
|Diameter: 21.6 millimeters||
|Weight: 129 grains||Fineness: .900|
|Edge: Reeded||Designer: Christian Gobrecht|
The vast majority of 1851-D half eagles are weakly struck on both obverse (on the hair curls around Liberty's face) and reverse (on the shield, the legs and the claws of the eagle). The surfaces on this date are usually heavily marked from circulation and have mint-made planchet defects. Original, uncleaned high grade specimens have pleasing frosty luster and coloration ranging from a rich yellow-gold to a green-gold hue. Eye appeal is usually below average but a very few attractive pieces survive and bring a strong premium when offered. Five die varieties are known. Less than 165 specimens survive with 4% being Mint State.