Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 13.3600g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $6.58 (11/21/2017)
Diameter: 30mm
Edge: Reeded
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1836 REEDED GR-1 50C MS obverse 1836 REEDED GR-1 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The half dollar was the last of the U. S. Mint's coins to undergo the transition from open collar production to close collar coining in which the edge device was applied at the moment of striking. Since it would have been impossible to eject a lettered edge coin from the tight-fitting collars being used, the half dollar also transitioned to having a reeded edge. This development was delayed until the Philadelphia Mint received its first steam powered coining press in 1836. Cents had been coined with it since March, but the first production of silver coins did not occur until November 8. These were the new style half dollars with reeded edge, and the number of pieces produced before year's end was small. The traditional mintage figure of 1200 pieces found in most catalogs is likely on the low side, as the number of examples extant suggests a higher mintage. Since a few pieces are known conforming to the reduced weight adopted in January of 1837, it's likely that coinage continued into the early part of that year.

Just a single die marriage is known, and the collar used was very finely reeded and had a diameter of 30.5. This same set-up was continued for the first 1837 halves, as well.

The 1836 reeded edge half dollar has long been prized, and values reflect that great demand. Mint State survivors are rare, and it appears that few were saved, despite the novelty of the design and its smaller diameter. Most examples are worn, though this date is rarely seen in very low grades, as collectors were in pursuit of it by the 1850s.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/12/2015

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

1836 REEDED GR-1 50C MS
Base $ 1050 1375 2000 2650 4000 5250 5750 6350 7500 10000 10750 13000 22000 47500 100000 - - - - -
$ 4700 - 6100 7000 8250 - 11750 14500 - 65000 - - - -

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Total Graded: 203
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
7/7/1999 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1183, 1183/Lot# 1408 $1,296.00
10/17/2005 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #58, 63/Lot# 537 $2,760.00
2/5/2006 NGC MS 62   Goldberg February 5-8, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 34/Lot# 1471 $9,372.50
3/24/2010 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2010 March Fort Worth, TX Signature ANA US Coin Auction #1138, 1138/Lot# 975 $3,105.00
12/9/2012 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/09/2012, 52/Lot# 88581 $289.30
2/22/2013 NGC MS 62   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 2065 $7,931.25
9/4/2014 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2014 September 4 - 6 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(1), 1209/Lot# 3166 $4,412.13
5/31/2015 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3532, 6101/Lot# 20387 $4,935.00
2/16/2017 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2017 February 16 - 19 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1252/Lot# 4318 $3,055.00
4/4/2017 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2017 April 4 - 6 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(2), 1253/Lot# 15757 $3,642.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1836 50C MS REEDED GR-1 Prooflike
1836 50C MS REEDED GR-1
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 4336
Owner: Terry's Collections
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