Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: New Orleans
Catalog: KM-68
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 13.36g
ASW: 0.3866oz
Melt Value: $7.63 (7/26/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1840 (O) MED LETTERS 50C MS obverse 1840 (O) MED LETTERS 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

A short quote from the WB reference helps explain this curious coin: 'Head dies of the Capped Bust half dollar design were sent to the New Orleans Branch Mint in 1839 along with companion tail dies of the Reich Eagle design. These tail dies had no mintmark as it was the practice in 1838 and 1839 to apply the mintmark (O) to the head dies sent to New Orleans. One such tail die with no mintmark was not used in 1839 and was reserved for use in 1840 when other used dies were canceled. Subsequent use of this die in 1840 a the New Orleans Branch Mint gave birth to this unique subtype which until recently was considered a pattern or regular issue of the Philadelphia Mint...In 1986, the authors diagnostically die linked the two 1840 obverses in these die pairings to identical 1840 obverses paired with reverses having the (O) mintmark. It should also be noted that all of the half dollars minted in New Orleans in 1840 had smaller diameters than corresponding Philadelphia half dollars.'

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/16/2015

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Base $ 165 235 375 600 1125 1475 1900 2600 3100 4000 4600 5900 9250 16000 24500 37500 - - - -
$ - - 2100 3000 3400 - - 6400 10250 17500 27500 51400 - -

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Total Graded: 47
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 65

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/11/2012 NGC AU 50   Teletrade Auction 3292, 3292/Lot# 1510 $1,200.00
7/27/2013 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4112 $10,575.00
9/25/2013 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(2), 1189/Lot# 3811 $1,410.00
11/2/2014 PCGS VF 35   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10303 $850.00
6/4/2015 NGC VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(5), 1221/Lot# 7673 $1,292.50
7/9/2015 NGC VG 8   Heritage Auctions 2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(4), 1222/Lot# 7395 $446.50
12/3/2015 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2015 December 3 - 6 Houston Money Show US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(3), 1227/Lot# 4390 $4,230.00
1/6/2016 PCGS VF 30   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(7), 1231/Lot# 8142 $940.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1840 (O) MED LETTERS 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 50
Points: 2106
Owner: Texas Coin Hunter
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Not What They Seem

9/21/2007 — In the years since the U.S. opened multiple mints, there have been a number of instances in which coins have been struck without a mintmark letter. NGC’s David Lange examines the history of these anonymous coins.
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