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: $6.33 (10/22/2019)
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).

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/28/2019

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

1858 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 55.00 65.00 75.00 100.00 185 260 290 350 450 550 625 815 1300 1700 5000 11850 25500 - - -
$ - - - - 475 - - - - - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 680
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: 10/22/2019 1858 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base23595839854966821013415738281211---680
---------------1-1----2
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total23595839854966821013415738291221---682
 0 %0 %1 %1 %9 %6 %12 %7 %10 %12 %15 %0 %6 %8 %6 %4 %2 %0 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/10/1993 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions NGC East Coast Expo Bullet Sale #114, 114/Lot# 320 $495.00
3/16/1998 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1032, 1032/Lot# 1493 $891.00
9/23/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 2776 $2,530.00
4/14/2008 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 238, 244/Lot# 682 $810.75
8/15/2011 NGC MS 63   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7063 $1,150.00
4/6/2014 NGC AU 53   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/06/2014, 175/Lot# 144549 $258.50
7/6/2014 NGC AU 53   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 199/Lot# 203963 $216.70
10/16/2016 NGC AU 53   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131643/Lot# 27739 $199.75
3/27/2018 NGC AU 55   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131814/Lot# 21619 $228.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1858 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1135201230304515539684774847108812061357145018862495406460898733137642189826588
46157211255374523587714798927112712561388159520893018473969701041016475234610
00000058771479892711271256138815952089301847396970104101647500
000000636744823100811671307141917412292354154147852120871918700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 1886
Owner: Whidbey Island Collection
 
Grade: AU 58
Points: 1088
Owner: Coin123456789
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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