1878 $5 Five Dollar, Judd-1574, Pollock-1766, High R.6, PR63 Gilt NGC
The William Barber Flowing Hair motif graces the obverse. Liberty faces left, wearing a headband eponymously inscribed. E PLURIBUS UNUM is above, the date 1878 below. The reverse offers an eagle with lowered wings in the center, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM around. The arrows are long and slender, their tips extending behind and past the eagle's wing, and the olive branch has six leaves. Struck in a larger diameter than regular half eagle issues, in copper, gilt, with a reeded edge.
The series of 1878 half eagles, Judd-1568A through 1574A, were struck on larger-diameter, thinner planchets in an effort to combat the plague of malefactors scooping out the center of a gold coin and replacing it with less-expensive metal. Mint Director Henry Linderman's 1878 Annual Report states:
"... the worst danger which threatens our gold coin, from counterfeiters, is the filling with an inferior metal or alloy. By this art the piece presents genuine exteriors, but the inner part removed, a disk of platinum, pure or alloyed, is inserted in its place and closed with a ribbed rim of gold. Its is therefore partly genuine and partly counterfeit, and its value reduced by several dollars, differing according to the denomination of the piece.
"The largest chance of spoilation of course occurs with the twenty-dollar pieces, but the pieces of ten and five dollars have also been filled. So far the mischief has been very limited, as it evidently requires first-class workmen, and is slow work; but pieces of this sort are, of all false issues, the most difficult to detect."
$11,500.00 (Jan 6, 2009 HA.com)
1878 $5 Five Dollar, Judd-1574, Pollock-1766, High R.6, PR66 Red Cameo PCGS
William Barber's design that shows the head of Liberty wearing a band inscribed LIBERTY incused with E PLURIBUS UNUM around the margin. This portrait is similar in design to the famous $4 Flowing Hair Stella pattern. The reverse has an alert perched eagle with raised wings. Struck in copper with a reeded edge.