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: $6.92 (4/29/2016)
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
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ 68.00 83.00 100.00 150 250 425 465 625 975 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: 1115
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/1/2016 AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2016 April 27 - May 1 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(6), 1234/Lot# 7890


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/11/2001 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 1405, 1405/Lot# 1264 $109.00
12/11/2006 NGC AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 117, 122/Lot# 952 $575.00
2/3/2009 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions Tuesday Internet Coin Auction #29022, 29022/Lot# 22285 $264.50
5/29/2011 PCGS AU 50   Goldberg May 29 - June 1, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction of US, World Coins and Currency, 63/Lot# 287 $402.50
10/13/2011 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(4), 1160/Lot# 8498 $322.00
3/25/2012 NGC Details XF Details  GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/25/2012, 15/Lot# 42443 $91.30
4/22/2013 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 3427, 3427/Lot# 1802 $223.25
6/5/2013 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions 2013 June 5 - 9 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1186/Lot# 8190 $501.73
6/3/2014 PCGS   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4027 $528.75


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.
View full article >
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.
View full article >


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