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: $6.82 (10/20/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

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 $ 110 195 500 1100 1890 3350 3500 4250 5000 7800 10000 12100 28000 47000 177500 242500 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 58500 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 174
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: 10/8/2019 1839 NO DRAPERY 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-13438152314620301546211----174
-----------------------
-------------1-4------5
-----------------------
Total-13438152314620301556611----179
 -1 %2 %2 %21 %8 %13 %8 %3 %11 %17 %1 %3 %3 %3 %3 %1 %1 %---- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/24/2003 NGC MS 63   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 537 $1,696.00
10/10/2005 NGC MS 61   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #57, 62/Lot# 680 $5,957.00
11/21/2005 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2121, 2121/Lot# 1347 $700.00
7/30/2008 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114, 1114/Lot# 535 $6,900.00
6/9/2013 NGC XF 45   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/09/2013, 78/Lot# 121185 $1,954.70
12/15/2013 NGC XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/15/2013, 105/Lot# 154452 $1,622.50
10/30/2014 PCGS AU 53   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 4253 $2,585.00
1/16/2019 PCGS F 12   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131904/Lot# 27475 $456.00
8/28/2019 NGC Details VF Details  Heritage Auctions Tuesday & Wednesday US Coins Weekly Online Auction Session(1), 131936/Lot# 21184 $456.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1839 NO 50C MS DRAPERY
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base24827252794913332179230231033216338638004403481757478058109191475124138382236106698349112274
25635766810771615222025693141327335244001454151276517901212196178802883345837734941029910
000000256931413273352440014541512765179012121961788028833458377349400
000000283631783329366242024679543772889965134742100933528534528592100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 58
Points: 3800
Owner: Texas Coin Hunter
 
Grade: XF 45
Points: 2302
Owner: dockj
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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