The first year of issue for the Classic Head Half Eagle (Buy on eBay) is found in two different varieties, identified by the style of the last digit of the date. The difference is identified by the presence or the absence of a vertical crosslet on the right end tip of the 4.
The first variety is known as the “Plain 4” and does not contain the vertical crosslet. The second variety is known as “Crosslet 4” and does contain the crosslet. Although an exact division from the overall mintage of 657,460 pieces is not known, the “Crosslet 4” variety is the rarer of the two by a factor of roughly 10 to 1.
The 1834 Half Eagle with “Crosslet 4” is represented by approximately 100 surviving examples with about a dozen pieces in uncirculated grades. The record price for the scarce variety is held by an example graded NGC MS-64, which sold at auction for $94,875 in 2008.
- Designer: William Kneass
- Composition: 89.92% Gold, 10.08% Silver and Copper
- Weight: 8.36 grams
- Diameter: 22.5 mm
- Edge: Reeded