Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 29,890
Catalog: KM-35
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 13.4800g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $6.87 (9/22/2014)
Diameter: 32.5mm
Edge: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1802 O-101 50C MS obverse 1802 O-101 50C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

O-101, R.3. For a series with so many die varieties and even subvarieties, the 1802 half dollar mintage is a lesson in contradiction, as the 29,890 pieces recorded struck were produced from a single die pair. There are no others known for the date, and after 205 years it is highly unlikely, although not impossible, that any others will be found. The year 1827 hold the series record for the greatest number of die marriages. The 28 obverse dies and 34 reverse dies were married in 49 different combinations to produce the 5.5 million pieces for the year, for an average of more than 112,000 halves per pair. In the case of the 1802, then, it is little wonder that the Mint personnel even saw fit to reuse master dies from 1801 to produce the working dies for 1802: After all, that mintage amounted to only one-quarter of the average mintage for a single die pair in 1827.

The 1802 also bears the distinction of being the only Draped Bust half that is a single-variety year. (The 1815, a Capped Bust design, is a single-variety year as well.) While the reasons for the relatively small mintage are lost to posterity, it bears mentioning that the other silver denominations produced during the year, the half dime and dime, are also small by series standards, with the half dime a legendary rarity. (The difference, of course, is that most yearly mintages of the early half dime and dime were on the smallish side, while the silver half dollar, along with the large cent and gold half eagle, was one of the three workhorse coinage denominations of early U.S. commerce.)

Mint State coins of this issue are quite rare.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/4/2013

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1802 O-101 50C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 950 1750 2575 4150 8350 8350 17750 21500 37000 47000 56000 68000 95000 - - - - - - - -
$ 10000 19250 24000 43000 51000 60000 77500 125000 - - - - - -
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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 99
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: VF
High Grade: 60


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/8/1997 PCGS F 15   Teletrade Auction 0978, 978/Lot# 1378 $463.25
8/9/2007 NGC VF 35   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday Sale - Internet Auction # 167, 172/Lot# 5718 $5,290.00
1/30/2011 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1416 $13,225.00
5/27/2012 PCGS VF 30   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1038 $4,446.00
7/26/2012 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers The August 2012 Philadelphia ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 140/Lot# 9009 $5,784.50
11/15/2013 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 November 15 - 16 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part II Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1190/Lot# 33535 $9,400.00
8/8/2014 PCGS F 15   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 4034 $2,115.00
8/31/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/31/2014, 189/Lot# 202444 $1,200.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1802 O-101 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3665276749901393240131263675518458886729719810385169191765718418192032001320848217082259423507
4205767791124172926433309417854196168688582601256317165179111868019473202912113522003228980
000000330941785419616868858260125631716517911186801947320291211352200300
000000349246815653644970429323147411741118164189411974320570214212229900
1802 O-101 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3665276749901393240131263675518458886729719810385169191765718418192032001320848217082259423507
4205767791124172926433309417854196168688582601256317165179111868019473202912113522003228980
000000330941785419616868858260125631716517911186801947320291211352200300
000000349246815653644970429323147411741118164189411974320570214212229900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: VF 30
Points: 1393
Owner: goldsaint
 
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