Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,203,644
Obverse Designer: John Reich
Reverse Designer: John Reich
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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1811 50C MS obverse 1811 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The half dollar was the U. S. Mint's primary silver denomination at this time, since dollar production had been halted by presidential order in 1804. Bankers preferred half dollars as vault reserves for their greater ease of counting, as compared to the lower denominations. The Mint preferred them, too, as the same value of coin production could be achieved with less work than in coining dimes or quarters. The result of this preferential coining was that half dollars were routinely struck in numbers exceeded one million per year from 1808-14.

The half dollars of this date are known with either a Large 8 or Small 8 in the date. The Large 8 is seen on only two of the ten obverse dies known and is a bit more scarce, bringing a modest premium in higher grades. A like number of reverses were employed. A fair number of unworn coins are known for both varieties, though certified examples are certainly not common. None of the 1811 die marriages are rare, but O-112a and O-113 are scarce enough to bring a premium from specialists. The one standout variety for general collectors is the overdate, which is addressed in the entry following this one.

As with most half dollars from this period, extreme die erosion and deep, multiple die clashings are not unusual. The dies were used until they failed, and this thrift shows on many of the surviving coins.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/12/2015

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

1811 50C MS
Base $ 65.00 85.00 125 205 390 700 825 1150 1950 2100 2200 2600 3850 5750 17250 30000 60000 115000 - -
$ 440 - 940 1250 2150 - 2400 2850 4250 6350 19500 44065 85000 -

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Total Graded: 803
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
4/23/2007 NGC AU 50   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 136, 141/Lot# 779 $488.75
9/4/2011 PCGS XF 40   Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1197 $578.45
12/16/2012 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131252/Lot# 24765 $199.75
10/20/2013 PCGS VF 30   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/20/2013, 97/Lot# 121932 $209.00
11/18/2013 PCGS VF 25   Teletrade Auction 3457, 3457/Lot# 1285 $176.25
10/8/2014 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1210/Lot# 3515 $2,232.50
10/10/2014 PCGS VF 25   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 15000 $246.75
2/8/2015 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131507/Lot# 25224 $223.25
4/3/2016 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131615/Lot# 23593 $423.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1811 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 1928
Owner: Mark T
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1609
Owner: goldsaint
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