Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 3,546,000
Catalog: KM-65
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 13.3600g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $6.36 (4/27/2015)
Diameter: 30mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1838 50C MS obverse 1838 50C MS reverse

Expand All    Collapse All

Description & Analysis

While the coming of steam power to the Philadelphia mint doubtless explains the introduction of Christian Gobrecht's first Reeded Edge Half Dollar in 1836, numismatists are at a loss to explain why the designer changed the reverse of his coin in 1838. Breen (1988) speculates that the denomination was changed from 50 CENTS to HALF DOL for uniformity with the Quarter and Silver Dollar. The Philadelphia Mint produced 3.5 million Halves in 1838, the highest total for any issue of this brief two-year type.

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


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

*To view the Census details for this coin, please sign in or sign up.

Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/12/2015

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

1838 50C MS
Base $ 68.00 83.00 100.00 150 250 425 465 625 975 1375 1800 3150 5850 20000 37500 110000 - - -
$ 275 - 500 675 1050 1525 2000 3850 6400 22500 42500 130000 -

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.

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 1077
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/26/2015 MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1219/Lot# 4463
4/26/2015 MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1219/Lot# 4464
4/26/2015 MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1219/Lot# 4465
4/26/2015 AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(7), 1219/Lot# 7828

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/4/1993 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions Long Beach Bullet #105, 105/Lot# 722 $715.00
5/21/2007 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 143, 148/Lot# 931 $586.50
2/13/2011 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 211024/Lot# 26074 $109.25
9/4/2011 NGC XF 45   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1241 $207.00
2/22/2013 NGC MS 62   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 7177 $1,191.45
10/14/2013 PCGS AU 53   Teletrade Auction 3452, 3452/Lot# 1560 $380.00
6/1/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/01/2014, 198/Lot# 173883 $852.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 12152
Owner: Heartland Collection
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3096
Owner: Half-collector
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

From the NGC Archives: 1838 Capped Bust Half Dollar

9/20/2011  — In 1836, Christian Gobrecht updated John Reichs's vintage design of 1807 for use with the mint's new steam presses.
View full article >
USA Coin Album: The Coinage of 1837, Part Three

1/14/2010  — This month, David W. Lange continues recalling a pivotal year in the history of United States coinage, with part three in his series.
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer