Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dimes (1837-1873)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 340,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht and Robert B. Hughes
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 1.2400g
ASW: 0.0359oz
Melt Value: $0.61 (5/24/2017)
Diameter: 15.5mm
Edge: Reeded
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1859 H10C MS obverse 1859 H10C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The Philadelphia Mint half dime of 1859 is an anomaly. It bears Assistant Engraver Anthony C. Paquet's interpretation of the Seated Liberty figure, while the New Orleans issue of that year retained the old Hughes figure from 1840.

Paquet created a slimmer Liberty having hair that looks more like a bonnet. The ribbon inscribed LIBERTY is more curved and the letters are taller. Finally, the obverse stars have hollow centers. This Liberty hub was ultimately rejected in favor of yet another new one for 1860 that lasted through the end of the series in 1873, making the 1859(P) half dime desirable as a one-year-only type coin.

Despite its modest mintage, this issue is not rare in Mint State. Only at the MS 65 level does it become challenging to locate. In addition, most pieces are quite well struck.

The Valentine and Breen references list several obverse dies having repunched dates, yet it appears that at least a couple of these may be different states of the same die. NGC will attribute the most complete and prominent RPD under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/4/2016

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

1859 H10C MS
Base $ 18.00 21.00 30.00 45.00 80.00 140 150 175 195 210 255 300 435 600 1275 2150 3950 13500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 700 - 2250 4600 23000

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Total Graded: 242
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 62
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/14/1998 NGC MS 63   Teletrade Auction 1086, 1086/Lot# 1242 $250.70
2/14/2008 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2008 February Long Beach, CA Signature Coin Auction #460, 460/Lot# 49 $1,840.00
11/26/2009 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 431, 437/Lot# 7199 $230.00
9/2/2012 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 1312 $776.00
8/31/2014 NGC MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/31/2014, 189/Lot# 216550 $234.00
3/10/2015 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 1143 $458.25
1/3/2016 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131602/Lot# 23769 $164.50
2/16/2017 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2017 February 16 - 19 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1252/Lot# 7322 $1,292.50

NGC Registry

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