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Historic 1861-C Liberty Half Eagle to be Offered in our July 2015 Baltimore Auction

The American Civil War had important numismatic implications that still affect collectors today. The fabled Confederate cents and half dollars of 1861 have long fascinated collectors, and the many variations of Civil War tokens and other related exonumia offer glimpses of independent coinage efforts that took place during the years of the conflict.  Our southernmost mints in New Orleans, Louisiana, Dahlonega, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina all succumbed to Confederate control by the end of 1861.

The 1861-C Liberty half eagle to be featured in our July 2015 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo is a delightful relic of this tumultuous era. While the mintage of 6,879 pieces dictates an instant scarcity, Doug Winter estimates that only 150 to 175 survivors exist. Also adding to interest in this date and mint is the notion that as many as 887 examples were struck under the direct supervision of the Confederacy after the Mint was seized by rebel troops in late April of 1861. It is impossible to distinguish these examples from the federal mintage, but this does not diminish the overall historic significance.  

Though the building was used for administrative and assay purposes during Reconstruction, coinage never resumed at the Charlotte Mint, leaving the 1861-C Liberty half eagle as the last numismatic production at that facility. While commonly encountered in Very Fine to Extremely Fine levels of preservation, the current About Uncirculated offering delivers a well-defined and aesthetically appealing coin that transcends what is frequently associated with circulated southern gold.  This piece remains a significant and attractive find for specialists and is sure to serve as the jewel of its future assemblage.

Witness this and many other great rarities cross the auction block at our July 16-19, 2015, sale in Baltimore. Whether participating online, over the phone or in person on the bidding floor, we invite you to share in the excitement! For more information please visit StacksBowers.com or contact our offices at 800-458-4646. 

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