Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 839,576
Obverse Designer: Robert Scot
Reverse Designer: Robert Scot
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.8920
Weight: 13.4800g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $6.60 (10/22/2017)
Diameter: 32.5mm
Edge: Lettered
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1806 50C MS obverse 1806 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

1806 was the high watermark for production of Draped Bust Half Dollars. The coining of silver dollars had been suspended during 1804, and depositors of bullion typically wanted the highest denomination available. The Mint, too, favored half dollar production, since it was more cost effective to strike and count the smallest number of coins from a given amount of bullion. There were no fewer than 39 delivery warrants of half dollars process during calendar year 1806, though there's no certainty that these were all 1806-dated coins. The dies were used until they failed, regardless of the date carried, and some of this date may have been struck during 1807.

The half dollars dated 1806 are divided into two major classes by date styles: Knobbed 6 and Pointed 6. The majority of this issue featured the latter numeral style, but both classes are further divided into four overdate die marriages and two inverted date marriages, both of which are covered separately within the entries following this one. Excluding the overdates, there are just four varieties having the Knobbed 6 and 24 with the Pointed 6. Two reverse dies are known on which the stem from the olive branch does not project through the eagle's claw. One is paired with a Knobbed 6 obverse (O-108) and is rare, while the other (O-109) has a Pointed 6 and is among the most common of 1806 half dollars.

The rare varieties for 1806 include O-108, O-122, and O-126 through O-130. There are a number of scarce ones, too, but these appeal primarily to variety specialists. The 1806 half dollar makes for an ideal type coin, as there are several common varieties, and this date typically is better struck than for 1807. Perhaps the most common variety is O-115 and its later die state, O-115a. There are a few dozen Mint State survivors for this date, but gems are extremely rare. Circulated examples are found across all grades, though most fall into the VG-VF range.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

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

1806 50C MS
Base $ 225 330 475 800 2150 4400 5250 6100 7700 9250 10250 12500 18500 38500 100000 230000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Total Graded: 1450
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 40
High Grade: 66

Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/3/2017 AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2017 November 1 & 3 Eric P. Newman Collection Part IX US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(1), 1260/Lot# 15091
11/4/2017 VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2017 November 2 - 4 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(5), 1261/Lot# 19645
11/4/2017 AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2017 November 2 - 4 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(3), 1261/Lot# 17094

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/14/1997 NGC VF 30   Teletrade Auction 0945, 945/Lot# 1458 $327.00
5/28/2008 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2008 May Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #1108, 1108/Lot# 499 $2,185.00
5/24/2009 PCGS AU 53   Goldberg May 24-27, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 53/Lot# 529 $4,370.00
5/5/2013 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 750, 759/Lot# 189 $1,650.00
4/6/2014 PCGS Genuine VG   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/06/2014, 175/Lot# 139213 $204.60
10/12/2014 PCGS   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 147874 $4,550.00
2/6/2015 NGC VF 35   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3520, 6089/Lot# 22068 $974.08
5/31/2015 PCGS F 15   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3532, 6101/Lot# 20361 $470.00
1/6/2016 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(2), 1231/Lot# 3977 $1,880.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1806 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 53
Points: 2783
Owner: goldsaint
Grade: XF 45
Points: 1981
Owner: goldsaint
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