Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 472,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.33 (10/21/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1860 S 50C MS obverse 1860 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

This is a scarce issue in all but the lowest grades, and Mint State examples are genuinely rare. Those that do exist fall into the lower range of MS grades, with gems being unknown. Unworn survivors often reveal quite worn dies that are evident by their blurred denticles and rough fields.

There are a fair number of harshly cleaned 1860-S halves showing little or no wear. These are traceable to large hoard of 1860-65 half dollars of the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints that reportedly was discovered in Guatemala during the 1950s. This is quite plausible, since many USA silver coins are known to have circulated in both Canada and Latin America during the mid 19th Century, when those areas lacked adequate coinage of their own.

A mere two die pairs are known for 1860-S half dollars. One reverse die displays the old Large S of earliest die shipments to the San Francisco Mint, while the second carries the Medium S first used in 1857. Each of these is paired to its own unique obverse for 1860, yet the Large S die was also used for 1859-S halves, while the Medium S die carried over into 1861's half dollar production. A single collar was employed, this having 140 reeds. All dies are of the Type 2 hub, and this remained true for S-Mint half dollars until 1862.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/21/2019

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

1860 S 50C MS
Base $ 40.00 60.00 120 165 345 520 620 800 1100 1750 2250 3100 4750 7250 - - - - - -
$ - - - - - - - 3250 - 7700 - - - -

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Total Graded: 79
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
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: 10/8/2019 1860 S 50C MS
 1 %-5 %1 %5 %5 %8 %3 %8 %11 %24 %-9 %5 %11 %5 %------ 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/20/2005 PCGS AU 58   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 174 $690.00
8/17/2009 NGC AU 55   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 402, 408/Lot# 693 $500.25
12/8/2011 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions 2011 December 8-11 US Coins Signature Auction- New York Session(4), 1162/Lot# 8444 $138.00
2/5/2012 PCGS XF 40   Teletrade Auction 3219, 3219/Lot# 1529 $160.00
11/4/2012 PCGS Genuine VF   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 11/04/2012, 47/Lot# 82641 $48.00
7/4/2014 NGC Details VF Details  Stack's Bowers iAuction 3489, 6040/Lot# 21277 $75.00
7/17/2016 NGC AU 50   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131630/Lot# 27224 $399.50
2/5/2017 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131707/Lot# 23461 $365.43

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1860 50C MS S
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: VF 30
Points: 463
Owner: ddr70
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