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: $8.70 (9/28/2021)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1839 NO DRAPERY 50C MS obverse 1839 NO DRAPERY 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Seated Liberty design was applied to the various silver coin denominations in stages, the half dollar being the fourth to receive an upgrade. This delay was due both to the heavy demand for halves that didn't allow for any delays in mass production and the fact that another new design had been adopted as recently as 1836. Nearly two million Seated Liberty Half Dollars were coined in 1839, and it appears from the survival rate that those of this first sub-type without drapery at Liberty's elbow formed a minority of that total. Examples are highly prized by collectors as a one-year-only issue, and Mint State survivors are quite rare.

Coinage of this brief issue reportedly occurred in August. Bill Bugert's die study of Philadelphia Mint Seated Liberty Half Dollars identified two obverse dies and four reverse dies, one of which was extensively cracked. These were used in four die marriages. The scarcity of this issue as a type alone has precluded any interest in collecting it by die varieties.

It should be noted that, in addition to the lack of drapery at Liberty's elbow, this sub-type is distinguished by a much larger protuberance of Liberty's gown to the left of her shield. Historically, this mass has been described as a rock, but in fact it is simply her bunched up gown, as she sits upon a chair that is obscured by her gown in Christian Gobrecht's adopted model of Thomas Sully's obverse design. This chair was plainly evident in Sully's earlier sketches.

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 NO DRAPERY 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 80.00 185 390 1100 1890 3350 3550 4250 5450 7800 8800 12500 28000 47000 160000 242500 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 58500 - - - -

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: 183
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 50
High Grade: 66

The chart showing 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, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/28/2021 1839 NO DRAPERY 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-13542162215720301556221----183
-----------------------
-------------2-3------5
-----------------------
Total-13542162215720301576521----188
 -1%2%3%22%9%12%8%4%11%16%1%3%4%3%3%1%1%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1839 NO DRAPERY 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base272304586974179923942754317232603545396846434888565677569379142061620017048179291917020473
28339871512491997251428933201335536864193472551446356829710988148711648317342183431960421497
000000289332013355368641934725514463568297109881487116483173421834300
000000303332313450382744184806540070568838125971553516765176351875600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 3968
Owner: Texas Coin Hunter
 
Grade: AU 53
Points: 3260
Owner: vpitman
 
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.