1838 Liberty Gold Eagle

1838 Liberty Gold Eagle, Image: Smithsonian Institution

Important for its status as a two year subtype, the 1838 Liberty Head Gold Eagle is rare in all grades. The total mintage for this issue was 7,200 circulation strikes, with a few additional proofs struck.

The obverse design is different from the succeeding type by the longer truncation of Liberty’s neck and a partly covered ear. The reverse design features larger letters than would be used for the “Type of 1840”.

Most surviving specimens of this issue are heavily circulated with very few surviving mint state specimens. The highest graded examples are one each graded MS63 by PCGS and NGC. The latter sold for $115,000 at auction held in January 2007.

The 1838 Liberty Gold Eagle seems to be an underrated issue of the series, with the potential to rise in value when its status as a true (sub)type within the series is recognized by the broader public.