Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 227,000
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
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1850 50C MS obverse 1850 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The abrupt plunge in half dollar production at the Philadelphia Mint in 1850 may be explained by the prevailing price of gold in the aftermath of the California Gold Rush. This metal became so abundant that it's value fell in relation to silver, and this led to United States silver coins being more than face value. Unable to circulate freely, they were mostly exported to Europe to be traded as just so much bullion, and many were melted within months of their coining.

Unlike most entries in this long series, 1850(P) half dollars are scarce across all grades. The number of Mint State pieces is disproportionately high in relation to worn examples, yet choice survivors are rare. This issue is always in demand from collectors.

A total of four die marriages have been cataloged. Three obverses were paired with a similar number of reverse dies. The only variety observed is an obverse die on which numeral 0 was repunched to the northwest of its first impression (VP-001, WB-102). This die was paired with two different reverse dies, though collectors rarely attempt to locate both marriages.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/27/2019

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

1850 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 460 615 780 975 1240 1310 1380 1500 1750 2125 2300 2875 4000 7325 28500 60500 120000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - 3300 - 7350 40000 - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 94
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 65

The chart showing 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: 10/8/2019 1850 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--224553815202661051-----94
-----------------------
-------------1--------1
-----------------------
Total--224553815202671051-----95
 --2 %2 %4 %5 %5 %3 %8 %16 %21 %2 %6 %7 %11 %5 %1 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/1/2006 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 2139, 2139/Lot# 1258 $3,472.00
12/3/2009 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions "2009 December Houston, TX US Coin Auction Session(4)", 1132/Lot# 7811 $690.00
1/30/2011 NGC AU 50   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1450 $483.00
11/2/2014 PCGS G 6   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10331 $325.00
7/17/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 4381 $2,585.00
10/4/2015 NGC Details VG Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131541/Lot# 23508 $211.50
10/3/2016 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2016 October 3 - 5 US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(2), 1240/Lot# 3803 $1,880.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1850 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base16958911173142115581644186520092106230224642643288534864290754358797132112421568619374
232760985125614671587171819132041217123562524272430853754537475436297850212723169150
00000017181913204121712356252427243085375453747543629785021272300
00000017911961207422372410258328043286402264597543671498721420500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 65
Points: 7543
Owner: Hugh Stiel Rare Coins
 
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