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1822 half eagle coin sold at Las Vegas auction sets record

Updated March 26, 2021 - 12:12 am

A 19th century coin sold for $8.4 million Thursday at a Las Vegas auction, becoming the most valuable U.S. Mint gold coin ever auctioned.

The 1822 half eagle, a $5 coin with only three copies in existence, was sold at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Las Vegas Auction. This copy is the only one in private hands, according to statement from the gallery.

“There are only three known specimens, two of which are permanently impounded in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian Institution,” Stack’s Bowers Galleries said in the statement. “The Pogue-Eliasberg specimen sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the only example in private hands and represents a unique opportunity to own this issue. Most of the great figures in American numismatics never possessed one, and many have been born and died without ever having had the chance to compete for one at auction.”

The half eagle was previously bought in 1982 and 1906, according to the gallery, which estimated its worth at $5 million last month.

The gallery attempted unsuccessfully to sell the coin in 2016 at an auction where bidding reached $6.4 million.

Thursday’s sale surpassed the prices paid for the 1933 double eagle, the previous record holder, which sold for $6.6 million in 2002, according to a statement from the U.S. Mint.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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