Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 13.3600g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $9.55 (10/24/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1839 DRAPERY 50C MS obverse 1839 DRAPERY 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Since Liberty seems to be hunched over in the No Drapery version of this coin type, a couple of quick changes were made before many pieces had been struck. The billowing gown to the left of Liberty's shield was reduced in size, while a three folds of drapery were added beneath her left elbow, and these fixes gave the figure a more balanced posture. Interestingly, the half dollar obverse was not further modified in 1840, when the other Seated Liberty coins all got makeovers courtesy of sculptor Robert Ball Hughes. Thus, the half dollar alone stayed faithful to Christian Gobrecht's original work.

The Wiley-Bugert book also postulated that reduction of the gown was performed to improve striking quality, but this is unlikely, as there is no prominent feature on the opposite side of the coin that would be affected by such a change. Indeed, both issues are often poorly struck overall.

This version comprised the majority of 1839 Seated Liberty Half Dollars. Examples are far from common, but they are more readily available across all grades than the No Drapery sub-type.

Three die marriages have been noted for the 1839 Drapery edition, these from unique pairings of three obverse dies and a like number of reverses. There is little collector interest in obtaining all known varieties of this somewhat scarce issue. Two different collars have been documented, as well, one having 144 reeds and the other 148.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/20/2019

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

1839 DRAPERY 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 60.00 85.00 125 175 310 455 575 710 850 1480 1650 1850 2650 5400 18000 - - - - -
$ - - 600 740 975 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 188
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 65

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/20/2020 1839 DRAPERY 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base3-341811261492419-111115135-----186
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total3-341811261492419-111115135-----186
 2%-2%2%10%6%14%8%5%13%10%-6%6%8%7%3%----- 
1839 DRAPERY 50C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------2---------2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------2---------2
 ------------100%--------- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1839 DRAPERY 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base147163212304551745774916103613631558188621612368278135256616715211202177212828633928
15217924338661675582195611451428166719782230250630294555679585021337521243301670
0000008219561145142816671978223025063029455567958502133752124300
0000008699961254149317772069229926433277558669739852155482476400
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 1363
Owner: 123cents
 
Grade: VF 30
Points: 551
Owner: Electric Peak
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.