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 (9/23/2017)
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
9/15/2003 NGC G 4   Goldberg September 15-17, 2003 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 21/Lot# 413 $161.00
1/12/2004 PCGS F 15   Heritage Auctions 2004 Orlando, FL (FUN) Bullet Sale #337, 337/Lot# 31108 $563.50
8/31/2010 NGC Details VF Details  Teletrade Auction 2916, 2916/Lot# 1124 $438.00
2/24/2013 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/24/2013, 63/Lot# 54653 $918.50
9/4/2014 PCGS Genuine VF   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1209/Lot# 7624 $528.75
11/2/2014 PCGS VF 25   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10158 $900.00
2/5/2015 PCGS VF 30   Stack's Bowers 2015 Americana Auction, 6070/Lot# 1621 $1,116.25
3/27/2015 PCGS VF 25   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Baltimore, 6065/Lot# 5492 $752.00
12/3/2015 PCGS VF 25   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1227/Lot# 7520 $822.50


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