1810 Capped Draped Bust $5 Half Eagle, Large Date & Small 5

With a plentiful mintage (by early U.S. standards) of 100,287,(1) at first glance a casual observer may think there are ample supplies of 1810 Capped Draped Bust $5 half eagles for today’s collector to vie for.

Perhaps, but there are two mitigating factors that must considered to evaluate the true availability of any 1810 half eagle.

Factor 1: Because the price of gold in Europe was higher than in the Untied States during the early decades of the 19th century, many U.S. gold coins crossed the Atlantic where they were melted for their bullion content. For example, a $5.00 half eagle in the United States was worth $5.33 (paid out in silver) in Europe.(2) More than 99% of the Capped Draped Bust half eagles were destroyed during this era.(3) So much for the plentiful mintage!

Factor 2: There are four die varieties of the 1810 half eagle, identifiable by Large and Small Date obverses paired with either a Tall, Small, or Large 5 on the reverse.(4) They are:

  • Small Date, Tall 5, Die Variety BD-1. Estimated survivors: 225
  • Small Date, Small 5, Die Variety BD-2. Estimated survivors: 22
  • Large Date, Small 5, Die Variety BD-3. Estimated survivors: 5
  • Large Date, Large 5, Die Variety BD-4. Estimated survivors: 675

Both varieties featuring the Small 5 were struck in much smaller numbers than the other two, explaining their greater rarity.(5)  BD-1 and BD-4, while certainly not common date material, are comparatively easy to find.

The 1810 Large Date, Small 5 half eagle is hailed as a blockbuster coin in U.S. numismatics. The charts below illustrate the phenomenal pricing record of this fabulous rarity. Buyers have every reason to expect more of the same in the years ahead. The only problem is… how long to wait before the next available example hits the auction block?

Estimated survivors in all grades: 5
? The survivor estimate from PCGS represents an average of one or more experts' opinions as to how many examples survive of a particular coin in all grades. Survival estimates include coins that are raw, certified by PCGS, and certified by other grading services.
Learn more at PCGS.
PCGS Rarity Scale: 9.7
? The 'PCGS CoinFacts Rarity Scale' assesses the relative rarity of all U.S. coins, based on estimated surviving examples. The scale runs from 1.0 to 10.0. The higher the number, the rarer the coin.
Learn more at PCGS.
Click HERE to check for availability on eBay**

Preview of eBay selection (hate to say it, but you can pretty much forget about this one -- but you never know until you try):

Rare and valuable U.S. gold coin -- 1810 Capped Draped Bust $5 half eagle, Large Date & Small 5
Trendline Avg = 69.42 BEST
Last updated 9-6-23
Shop Now ebay button
Return to Key Date Coin List
Compare to Common Date Coin of Same Type
Download Charts to Your Computer


1. Yeoman, R.S. and Garrett, Jeff, et al.  A Guide Book of United States Coins, 75th ed. Pelham, AL: Whitman Publishing, 2021.

2. Stack's Bowers Galleries. 1834 Capped Head Left Half Eagle. Cross 4. Dec 2020 Auction.

3. NGC.  Capped Bust $5 (1807-1834).

4. PCGS.  1810 $5 Large Date, Small 5 (Regular Strike).

5. Heritage Auctions.  1810 Small Date, Small 5 Half Eagle.  Jan 2012 Auction.

**Many very fine coin dealers sell on eBay. At any point in time, there may be over one million search results for United States coins. This includes quite a few of the recommendations on our Key Date Coin List.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a rare coin, eBay is certainly worth a look. For your convenience, the links from this site to eBay are coded to bring up only coins certified by PCGS and NGC.

As is always, always the case, never buy a valuable coin from a seller whose trustworthiness cannot be verified. Learn more about this at our chapter Best Places to Buy Coins, which also has a section on doing business on eBay.

In the interest of full disclosure, Rare Coins 101 receives a small commission anytime someone connects to eBay from this site and purchases something.

Coin images by Stack's Bowers Galleries.