There are dozens of United States gold coins that are accorded a high degree of value for various reasons: first-year-of-issue, low mintage figures, beautiful design, strong collector appeal, etc. These are not always the “rarest” coins in a series and when the value-conscious collector looks at the numbers they don’t always make sense. But coins like the ones listed below are great additions to any collection. Let’s look at a list of 20 gold coins from the 19th century priced below $10,000 that would be welcome in any collection.
1. 1849-D Gold Dollar: The first gold dollar from this mint and an affordable, well-made issue. An easy coin to obtain in the $2,500-5,000 range.
2. 1855-O Gold Dollar: The only Type Two gold dollar from New Orleans and the final issue of this denomination from this mint. $3,000-5,000 will buy you a nice piece.
3. 1875 Gold Dollar: Just 400 business strikes were made, yet this issue is affordable.
4. 1838-C Quarter Eagle: The first quarter eagle from Charlotte and a popular two year type. Becoming harder to locate for less than $7,500 but be patient and you’ll find one.
5. 1839-D Quarter Eagle: The mate to the 1838-C and an issue that is both first-year-of-type and a one -year emission. Another coin that is becoming hard to find at under $10,000 but not impossible.
6. 1845-O Quarter Eagle: Only 4,000 were struck and this is by far the scarcest quarter eagle from this mint. Still available for less than $10,000 but getting more expensive every year.
7. 1875 Quarter Eagle: If you own the dollar, why not the quarter eagle? Another super-low mintage issue; just 400 struck. Decent pieces can be had for $7,500-10,000.
8. 1854-O Three Dollars: A first-year issue and a one-year type in one affordable package. $5,000-7,500 will buy you a very pleasing example.
9. 1881 Three Dollars: Just 500 business strikes were made and this is a scarce coin in all grades. This date always sells quickly for me. $7,500 will buy you a nice one.
10. 1813 Half Eagle: One of the more common coins on this list but its the most affordable example of the legendary Fat Head type. Nice pieces can still be hard for less than $10,000.
11. 1838-C/1838-D Half Eagles: Both are first year issues and one-year types. Both are very popular and becoming increasingly hard to find at under $10,000. These have great appeal beyond branch mint specialists.
12. 1839-C/1839-D Half Eagles: Two more one-year types. Neither are really rare (except in high grades) but they are well-made, oh-so-popular and can still be purchased in the $5,000-10,000 range. A four coin set that had the 1838-C, 1838-D, 1839-C and 1839-D half eagles would be a great addition to a collection.
13. 1861-C Half Eagle: Final year of issue, possible Civil War issuance and cheap…what’s not to love about the 1861-C half eagle? I just sold a nice EF40 for a shade over $5,000 and received multiple orders for it on my site.
14. 1870-CC Half Eagle: You can’t buy a really nice example of this date for less than $10,000 anymore but if you stretch a bit you’ll own a true piece of history. By a large margin, this is the most affordable first-year CC gold coin.
15. 1838 Eagle: This is another formerly affordable coin whose levels have shot up in the last five years. It’s scarce in all grades (only 7,200 were made) and it is the first Liberty Head eagle.
16. 1854-S Eagle: The first San Francisco eagle and a true Gold Rush artifact. Very affordable with very nice pieces still available for around $5,000.
17. 1857-S SSCA Double Eagle: I thought twice about adding this to the list but how can you not love a coin with this much history and cosmetic appeal? MS63′s at $9,000 or so seem like fair value right now.
18. 1874-CC Eagle: To me, the thought of owning a Carson City eagle from the early 1870′s is pretty exciting and the 1874-CC is the most common. Nice coins can be had for $6,000-8,000.
19. 1861 Double Eagle: An affordable Civil War double eagle that is well made and available. A great starter coin for the collector and always an easy coin to sell. You can buy nice examples for $3,000-5,000 and up.
20. Carson City Double Eagle: I didn’t mention a specific date as I am viewing this as a type purchase. What could be more popular than a big, pretty coin like this? You can still purchase an excellent example for $4,000-7,000.
So what coins did I leave off the list that you have in your collection and which do you agree with? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!