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: $6.09 (12/25/2014)
Diameter: 30mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1838 50C MS obverse 1838 50C MS reverse


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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.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/21/2014

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

1838 50C MS
  GVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 68.00 83.00 100.00 150 250 250 425 465 625 975 1275 1375 1800 3150 5850 20000 37500 110000 - - -
$ 275 450 500 675 1050 1400 1525 2000 3850 6400 22500 42500 130000 -
NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1069
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/12/2015 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 10324
1/12/2015 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 10326
1/12/2015 AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(8), 1216/Lot# 10321


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/17/2005 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2080, 2080/Lot# 1510 $3,920.00
1/31/2010 NGC MS 64   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 1073 $4,485.00
10/21/2010 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 525, 532/Lot# 7178 $471.50
2/28/2012 NGC MS 61   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 3288 $833.75
11/4/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/04/2012, 47/Lot# 82878 $138.60
12/9/2012 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131251/Lot# 22786 $99.88
8/25/2013 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131336/Lot# 24654 $270.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base183237285323487667783974102111931515183420332219283939026428777012152130851407015108
20125329737754770584698910781300162119002095242531934744687592301246313413144160
0000008469891078130016211900209524253193474468759230124631341300
000000910100511351407172719662157263235475586732210691127741374100
1838 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111111111111111111
1111111111111111111110
0000001111111111111100
0000001111111111111100
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 >


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