In 1887, the Philadelphia Mint struck the half eagle in proof format only, with no regular circulation strikes produced during the year. This is the sole proof-only issue for the entire denomination.
The 1887 Proof Liberty Half Eagle (Buy on eBay) had a reported mintage of 87 pieces. Of this amount, a number of unsold pieces may have been melted by the mint, while others may have been spent into circulation at face value. The latter situation is supported by the large number of impaired or circulated examples counted amongst the survivors.
It is estimated that roughly half of the original mintage still exists, although many pieces are found in circulated or impaired grades. The issue enjoys a strong premium due to its proof-only status. The record price is held by an example graded PCGS PR-65 Cameo, which sold for $144,000 in 2018.
- Designer: Christian Gobrecht
- Composition: 90% Gold, 10% Copper
- Weight: 8.359 grams
- Diameter: 21.6 mm
- Edge: Reeded