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: $6.16 (3/29/2015)
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 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: 11/12/2013

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

1897 S 50C MS
Base $ 140 220 420 640 1100 1100 1250 1450 1650 1900 2450 2600 2900 4050 5250 8250 14000 37500 57500 - -
$ 1200 1375 1600 1800 2100 2700 2850 3250 4450 5600 8850 17000 40000 -

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Total Graded: 233
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/13/1996 PCGS G 6   Teletrade Auction 0840, 840/Lot# 530 $92.65
7/13/2004 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #24073, 24073/Lot# 11351 $6,414.70
12/11/2008 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 308, 314/Lot# 8138 $4,945.00
10/13/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(4), 1160/Lot# 8601 $488.75
2/28/2012 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 3363 $4,887.50
9/2/2012 PCGS VG 10   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 930 $230.00
1/9/2013 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1181/Lot# 4408 $2,820.00
6/29/2014 NGC Details VG Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 175959 $110.00

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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