Coin Specifications

Category: Barber Half Dollars (1892-1915)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 933,900
Catalog: KM-116
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.15 (12/1/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1897 S 50C MS obverse 1897 S 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Both the New Orleans and San Francisco Barber halves of 1897 saw mintages under 1 million coins each, an easy and memorable cutoff point for many of the low-mintage issues of the era in various series. While the 1897-O half dollars were manufactured to the extent of 632,000 coins, the 1897-S emission was about 50% larger, at 933,900 pieces. Nonetheless, both issues are considered among the well-known keys to the Barber half collection today.

The coins were made only four years after Augustus B. Heaton published his celebrated treatise on Mint Marks, a chef-d'oeuvre that would forever alter the landscape of American coin collecting. However, it was another couple of decades before collecting coins by mintmark gained a serious foothold in America, and so it is that the few 1897-S Barber halves that exist today in high grade mostly were saved by fate rather than foresight.

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


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/21/2015

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1897 S 50C MS
Base $ 140 220 420 665 1100 1250 1450 1650 1900 2600 2900 4050 5250 8250 14000 39000 50000 - -
$ - - - - 2100 - 3250 4450 5600 8850 17000 - -

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Total Graded: 249
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: VF
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/11/2008 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 308, 314/Lot# 8138 $4,945.00
8/11/2010 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2010 August Boston, MA Signature & Platinum Night ANA Coin Auction #1143, 1143/Lot# 3190 $29,900.00
9/2/2012 PCGS VG 10   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 930 $230.00
1/9/2013 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1181/Lot# 10598 $211.50
4/22/2013 PCGS AG 3   Teletrade Auction 3427, 3427/Lot# 1843 $50.00
6/16/2014 NGC VG 10   Stack's Bowers iAuciton 3486, 6035/Lot# 20399 $191.53
7/6/2014 NGC G 4   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 199/Lot# 171985 $110.00
8/12/2015 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 August 12 - 16 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1223/Lot# 5083 $4,230.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1897 S 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: F 15
Points: 1021
Owner: Aussielover
Grade: F 15
Points: 1021
Owner: Scott mathison
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