Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 211,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $5.85 (7/23/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1856 S 50C MS obverse 1856 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Half dollar rose somewhat at the San Francisco Mint this year, but the 1856-S entry is still scarce across all grades. Mint State examples are extremely rare. Unlike in 1855, the mint did not overpolish its dies, perhaps because the "halo" associated with the temporary master dies of 1853-55 was no longer present on half dollar starting this year.

The San Francisco Mint requested and was shipped 12 die pairs for this year, but only a few were actually needed for the small production. Bugert has identified six die marriages from various combinations of five obverses and three reverses. One obverse was used long enough to be repolished, and it is lacking the drapery at Liberty's left elbow. Otherwise, there are no varieties of note. A single collar was used, this having the same 140 reeds of the 1855-S issue.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/21/2019

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

1856 S 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 90.00 265 410 550 1350 2100 2375 2875 4850 5625 6625 8750 15100 22400 - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 39
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 64

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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 7/16/2019 1856 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base213165531-8--121------39
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total213165531-8--121------39
 5 %3 %8 %3 %15 %13 %13 %8 %3 %-21 %--3 %5 %3 %------ 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
12/19/2007 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 2465, 2465/Lot# 1237 $784.00
1/30/2011 NGC XF 40   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1455 $322.00
9/6/2012 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(4), 1174/Lot# 8471 $822.50
7/7/2013 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/07/2013, 82/Lot# 122017 $896.50
1/8/2014 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(7), 1201/Lot# 9027 $1,410.00
6/3/2014 NGC VF 35   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4045 $749.65
11/2/2014 PCGS VG 10   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10344 $190.00
1/7/2015 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions 2015 January 7 - 12 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Session(3), 1216/Lot# 4929 $3,055.00
4/22/2015 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(3), 1219/Lot# 4484 $1,124.48
6/4/2015 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2015 June 4 - 7 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1221/Lot# 4520 $998.75


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1856 50C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base502563774108814772643291031493260358341724499493560076820770481181543223950375725952369191
522633879121818662732299031863368377942814644529262787115784210556182712849144889627460
00000029903186336837794281464452926278711578421055618271284914488900
00000030693223347539764390479056506549740979801299421111330315220600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 45
Points: 2910
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
Grade: XF 40
Points: 2643
Owner: 123cents
 
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