Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 566,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $8.27 (9/25/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1859 S 50C MS obverse 1859 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The San Francisco Mint's coining of half dollars rose modestly from 1858's total, and this issue is slightly scarce in lower circulated grades, scarcer still grading XF or AU and genuinely rare at the Mint State level. Gems are all but unknown. Most examples are sharply struck, those some having the Medium S mintmark are known from worn dies.

As in 1858, the San Francisco Mint requested no additional reverse dies, the many shipped during 1854-57 being adequate to its needs. It did request and receive 12 obverse dies, six of which have been confirmed on surviving coins. Paired with seven reverses, the result was a total of eight die marriages confirmed to date. All but one of the reverse dies bear the Large S mintmark, but the sole Medium S die was paired with two obverses and is only slightly more scarce than its big brother.

Aside from the two mintmark sizes, the only variety is a very minor repunched date. This obverse (WB-6) was paired with both Large S and Medium S reverses, but there is little collector interest outside of dedicated specialists.

All 1859-S half dollar feature the Type 1 Reverse hub of 1842, and this would remain true for the next several years of S-Mint half dollars. The surfeit of reverse dies on hand meant that dies of the new hub would not be employed before 1862.

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.

1859 S 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 48.00 75.00 130 140 415 650 715 975 1280 1400 1750 2400 3750 7300 14000 26000 - 67500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 4250 8000 - 30000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 71
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 55
High Grade: 66

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, 66 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/22/2020 1859 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--2254832512-637732----71
-----------------------
---------------6------6
-----------------------
Total--2254832512-6371332----77
 --3%3%6%5%10%4%3%6%16%-8%4%9%17%4%3%---- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1859 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1155220320515838891101311381290165820092124249532814431624880588200141772144926069
52177253385623856932105511891413177520472248275736645037685181051019216601229890
00000093210551189141317752047224827573664503768518105101921660100
00000097210961239153518922086237130194048564274558153121851902500
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 1290
Owner: ddr70
 
Grade: VF 30
Points: 515
Owner: crowhill collection
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.