|Half Eagle 1839 - 1861||Liberty Head 1839 - 1861|
|Diameter: 21.6 millimeters||
|Weight: 129 grains||Fineness: .900|
|Edge: Reeded||Designer: Christian Gobrecht|
The 1861-D half eagle is a very historic coin and very popular among collectors. The U.S. Government minted 1597 half eagles before the Confederacy seized the Mint on April 8, 1861. An unknown but undoubtedly very small, quantity of half eagles were struck by the Confederacy shortly thereafter. The obverse strike is always weakly struck on the curls around the face and at the top of Liberty's head. The reverse shows a well defined eagle except for the legs and claws. The surfaces usually always come heavily abraded and many specimens have planchet flaws also. The luster is usually frosty and below average. Many examples of this date have been cleaned. Original, uncleaned specimens have coloration that is medium to deep orange-gold. Most have poor eye appeal, but a few pleasing examples exist and they are highly prized by collectors. Roughly 75 specimens survive with less than 6% being Mint State.
HALF EAGLE 1861-D