The metals do not circulate any more. Copper, silver and gold are no longer available for the Philadelphia Mint whose business is extremely slowed down. The reserves ran dry. The currency emissions are no more resulting from federal decisions but the production line accepts some operations to change bullion in coins on orders from private investors.
In such conditions, it is assumed that individuals were using for their transactions the Spanish silver coins and the Portuguese gold coins whose circulation were to remain legal until 1857. The extreme rarity of the 1815 US coinage demonstrates the fragility of the American economy and the weakness of the autonomy of the United States despite the satisfactory conclusion of the war.
Only one gold coin operation is carried out in 1815, on a coordinated order between two private depositors and the Bank of Pennsylvania who each brought some gold to turn it into half eagles of $ 5. In less than one hour on November 3, 1815, 635 pieces are produced with a single pair of dies.
The rarity of this coin has become legendary. Unknown to the numismatists until the mid-nineteenth century, the 1815 half eagle was regarded in the 1880s as the rarest regular issue of the USA. Although some coins have surfaced in the following century, this variety remains a treasure.
On February 9 in New York, Stack's Bowers in association with Sotheby's sells the finest known example of 1815 half eagle, graded MS65 by PCGS with a rich color between deep yellow and orange. It is estimated $ 750K, lot 3149.
SOLD for $ 820K including premium