Coin Specifications

Category: Early Halves (1794-1839)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 3,546,000
Catalog: KM-65
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 13.36g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $7.24 (8/26/2016)
Diameter: 30mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1838 50C MS obverse 1838 50C MS reverse


GR-15
  
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Description & Analysis

While the coming of steam power to the Philadelphia mint doubtless explains the introduction of Christian Gobrecht's first Reeded Edge Half Dollar in 1836, numismatists are at a loss to explain why the designer changed the reverse of his coin in 1838. Breen (1988) speculates that the denomination was changed from 50 CENTS to HALF DOL for uniformity with the Quarter and Silver Dollar. The Philadelphia Mint produced 3.5 million Halves in 1838, the highest total for any issue of this brief two-year type.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/12/2015

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

1838 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 68.00 83.00 100.00 150 250 425 465 625 975 1275 1375 1800 3150 5850 20000 37500 110000 - - -
$ 275 - 500 675 1050 - 1525 2000 3850 6400 22500 42500 130000 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1131
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/13/1997 NGC AU 55   Teletrade Auction 0910, 910/Lot# 1364 $228.90
5/31/2004 NGC MS 61   Goldberg May 31 - June 2, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 25/Lot# 724 $805.00
2/9/2006 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2006 February Long Beach Signature Auction #400, 400/Lot# 1282 $19,550.00
9/1/2008 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 279, 285/Lot# 816 $592.25
3/31/2011 NGC AU 58   Stack's Bowers The March 2011 Baltimore Auction, 83/Lot# 1970 $862.50
11/4/2012 PCGS Genuine Genuine   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/04/2012, 47/Lot# 82878 $138.60
4/24/2013 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago Session(8), 1184/Lot# 8360 $485.28
2/9/2014 NGC Details VF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/09/2014, 171/Lot# 169834 $57.20


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1838 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base2372653143665027259081028108813031683194920332335308040956820864412571130881407015109
246281331411576786948104811601430177219772134258334185003742899531274313415144160
00000094810481160143017721977213425833418500374289953127431341500
000000988106812311556186020052234283237575912803611262129161374300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 12571
Owner: Heartland Collection
 
Grade: MS 62
Points: 3096
Owner: Half-collector
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

From the NGC Archives: 1838 Capped Bust Half Dollar

9/20/2011 — In 1836, Christian Gobrecht updated John Reichs's vintage design of 1807 for use with the mint's new steam presses.
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USA Coin Album: The Coinage of 1837, Part Three

1/14/2010 — This month, David W. Lange continues recalling a pivotal year in the history of United States coinage, with part three in his series.
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