Half Eagle - The very first gold coins made at the U.S. Mint.
The Half Eagle or $5.00 gold piece was minted from 1795 to 1929. It was originated when George Washington appointed Henry William DeSaussure to the Mint Director position in 1795. One of the major things that he did as Mint Director was to introduce US gold coins into circulation.
The introduction of a 5 dollar gold coin as well as other denominations was very important to the United States. The coins represented the face of a country and had to be perfect both in weight and design. The public had recently misinterpreted the reverse of the chain cent as representing slavery instead of strength and unity. The US Mint could not afford that to happen again, especially with a gold coin. More importantly the weight of the coin had to be exact if it was to successfully represent the United States.
The current spot price of gold is very important in regards to gold coin prices. Obviously, the higher spot price is for gold, the more you can expect to pay for rare gold coins as they have more intrinsic value. For the most part, as you get into the older series, these coins will have more in the way of numismatic value as well. This is true of most all US coins depending on popularity.
This denomination includes several different varieties. They are listed as follows.