Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 188,234
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 13.4800g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $6.58 (9/24/2017)
Diameter: 32.5mm
Edge: Lettered
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1803 50C MS obverse 1803 50C MS reverse


  
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Description & Analysis

This year marked the first substantial mintage of half dollars since 1795. There were 20 deliveries of half dollars between August 29, 1803 and November 8 of the following year, and all of these were almost certainly dated 1803. Two obverse dies and three reverses were combined for a total of four die marriages. These are divided into those having the Large 3 (O-101 through -103) and the Small 3 O-104. These monikers are a bit misleading, as the difference is not in size but in shape. The Large 3 has a vertical stroke with serifs at both top and bottom, while the vertical of the Small 3 is titled to the right and has only a lower serif.

The four 1803 die marriages are neither common nor rare, instead falling somewhere in-between. Collectively, they make this an obtainable and affordable entry in the series. Mint State pieces, however, are quite rare.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/15/2015

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1803 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 265 335 525 890 2350 5200 6000 8750 12000 17500 25000 35000 105000 165000 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - 30000 46000 - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 438
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: VF
High Grade: 63


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
3/25/1998 PCGS XF 45   Teletrade Auction 1035, 1035/Lot# 1431 $1,404.00
9/15/2003 NGC G 4   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 413 $161.00
4/2/2007 NGC VG 8   David Lawrence Rare Coins Spring Collectors Choice Sale', 137/Lot# 289 $380.65
10/13/2011 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(1), 1160/Lot# 3675 $7,475.00
2/28/2012 PCGS VF 30   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 3239 $810.75
6/29/2014 PCGS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 195/Lot# 139215 $234.30
6/4/2015 NGC F 15   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(5), 1221/Lot# 7602 $540.50
7/21/2015 NGC VG 8   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 32002 $282.00


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