Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 129,950
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.35 (10/20/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1855 S ARROWS 50C MS obverse 1855 S ARROWS 50C MS reverse
Images Courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
Expand All    Collapse All

Description & Analysis

A shortage of parting acids at the San Francisco Mint limited its coinage of gold in 1854 and precluded silver coinage altogether. A supply was finally secured the following year, and silver quarter and half dollars were added to its roster of coins. Both had modest mintages and are scarce across all grades. Most 1855-S halves are very well worn. Examples grading XF or higher are rare and highly sought by collectors. Mint State pieces are major rarities, while gems are unknown.

Some four die marriages have been observed, these utilizing four obverses and two reverses. Since die pairs had been shipped for 1854, it's likely that the reverse dies were utilized this year. All examples have a reed count of 140, which is rather low for this coin type. Since collars typically were manufactured at each individual mint or purchased from local manufacturers, there was always a wide variety among 19th Century USA coins. Certainly, no one at the mints ever expected anyone to be studying their coins' third sides.

For reasons unknown, employees of the San Francisco Mint routinely overpolished the obverse dies for this issue. Most coins are lacking all or part of the drapery at Liberty's left elbow, and the support for her left foot is also diminished. On the reverse, the vertical stripes of the eagle's shield are often partially eradicated. The raised outline, or "halo," seen on most 1853-55 half dollars of the other mints are not found on 1855-S halves, and this is either the reason for overpolishing or simply an unintended consequence of it.

GRADE SUMMARY

Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation

 
NGC PRICE GUIDE
NGC CENSUS
AUCTION PRICES REALIZED
NGC REGISTRY
SCORE
FIND IT ON EBAY

Select Grade

Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/21/2019

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

1855 S ARROWS 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 725 1100 1580 3000 4700 7200 9150 14500 20250 29000 39500 48000 60500 72500 - 120000 175000 - - -
$ - - - - 21500 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 58
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: VF
High Grade: 67

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, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1855 S ARROWS 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base45859662424--11---1---58
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total45859662424--11---1---58
 7 %9 %14 %9 %16 %10 %10 %3 %7 %3 %7 %--2 %2 %---2 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/16/2007 PCGS VG 8   Teletrade Auction 2422, 2422/Lot# 1396 $504.00
1/30/2011 NGC VG 8   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1454 $311.00
9/22/2013 PCGS Genuine F   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/22/2013, 93/Lot# 138927 $398.20
11/2/2014 PCGS G 6   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10341 $375.00
10/10/2014 PCGS   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 15216 $270.25
11/2/2014 NGC Details F Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131445/Lot# 23415 $411.25
10/28/2015 PCGS AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 28 Gardner Collection IV US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1229/Lot# 98667 $13,806.25
2/22/2018 PCGS Genuine XF   Heritage Auctions 2018 February 22 - 26 LB Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1272/Lot# 4744 $1,320.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1855 S 50C MS ARROWS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base874120614331928269938173984466950546056707776518153868692349918109191293714347000
9851282159821853072387342124797538863967268781883318869946210252115921340714347000
00000042124797538863967268781883318869946210252115921340714347000
00000044414926572267377460798685089051969010585122641387714347000
1855 S 50C MS ARROWS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base820113813631843258536573817448548765836682074317859842889299588105991257113914251613576642450
92612131523209029423710404046155196616470247574804985959149992511256130191766328696379940
00000040404615519661647024757480498595914999251125613019176632869600
000000426247465516649272277716823887629368102621191413466214123223100
Registry Image Gallery

No Images Found

Related Articles

FUN Signature Sale Powers To $45 Million

1/24/2013 — Three Cent Silvers Make Big Noise - Rush To Quality Makes for Fierce Competition.
View full article >


NGC Auction Central Disclaimer