Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 4,225,700
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.44 (1/21/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1858 50C MS obverse 1858 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The year 1858 witnessed a surge in the production of fractional silver coins across all denominations. This may be explained in part by Mint Director Snowden's policy of paying out silver coins in exchange for deposits of silver bullion. The law stated that they were to be exchanged only for gold coins to avoid a redundancy, but this is exactly what happened. The fractional silver, with its limited legal tender status, became a nuisance to merchants. Often refused by banks when presented in large numbers, the holders of these coins had to sell them at a discount to brokers and simply absorb the loss. The huge production figures for 1858 brought this problem to the forefront. Snowden was reminded of the law in no uncertain terms, and mintages dropped the following year.

An extremely common coin across all grades short of Mint State, the 1858(P) half dollar graces many a collector's type set. Wiley and Bugert have cataloged an amazing 42 die marriages, and these were the product of 39 obverse dies and 37 reverses.

Two different hubs were employed in the creation of the reverse dies. The first is that seen on 1842-57 halves. The overall relief is high, and letter L in HALF has a short base. The second debuted this year and continued until 1866. It is in noticeably lower relief, and the L in HALF has a longer base. The latter is scarce but not truly rare. Two reed counts are known, these being either 145 or 146, respectively.

This issue is extremely rich in both RPD and MPD varieties---too many, in fact, to list here. Please refer to the VarietyPlus website for more detailed information. Also found there is a pleasing DDO variety (VP-001, WB-102).


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/20/2019

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

1858 50C MS
Base $ 55.00 65.00 75.00 100.00 185 260 290 350 450 550 625 815 1300 1700 5000 11650 25500 - - -
$ - - - - 475 - - - - - - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 686
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
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: 1/21/2020 1858 50C MS
 0 %0 %1 %1 %9 %6 %12 %7 %10 %12 %14 %0 %6 %8 %6 %4 %2 %0 %0 %--- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1858 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 1886
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
Grade: AU 58
Points: 1088
Owner: Coin123456789
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