Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 253,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.52 (9/21/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1862 50C MS obverse 1862 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The issuance in 1862 of "United States Notes" that were not immediately redeemable for gold or silver prompted the hoarding of silver coins by late spring. These joined the gold coins in hiding, as those had already disappeared from circulation by the end of 1861. Both gold and silver continued to circulate freely in the West, where paper money was either illegal or simply shunned by common consent. In the eastern half of the nation, however, as well as in the rebel states of the Confederacy, daily commerce was defined by paper money for years afterward.

This situation resulted in a fairly low mintage for half dollars at the Philadelphia Mint. Those that did circulate often did so in Canada or Latin America, where their bullion value was less of an issue than the perennial shortage of coins. Worn examples are scarce in any grade, but there is a disproportionate number of Mint State pieces relative to the overall population. This may be attributed to the failure of these coins to circulate domestically. A small number of truly superb survivors have resulted from such hoarding.

Five die marriages are known from a like number of obverse and reverse dies. Aside from these, there are no collectible varieties. Remarkably, given the small mintage, three different reed counts are known: 151, 152 or 153. Collectors, however, don't seem to have taken a fancy to the coins' third side.

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.

1862 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 70.00 100.00 105 175 375 525 650 760 855 935 1010 1200 1580 3700 6500 16500 36500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 4300 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 79
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 58
High Grade: 67

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, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/17/2019 1862 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--4-9-1122191211512432---78
---------------11-----2
---------------2------2
-----------------------
Total--4-9-1122191211515532---82
 --5 %-11 %-13 %2 %2 %1 %11 %1 %2 %13 %6 %18 %6 %4 %2 %--- 
1862 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----------1-----------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total----------1-----------1
 ----------100 %----------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/15/2001 NGC MS 62   Teletrade Auction 1426, 1426/Lot# 1157 $572.25
11/11/2003 PCGS AU 50   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23113, 23113/Lot# 13333 $241.50
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1252 $1,840.00
12/22/2008 NGC XF 45   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 312, 318/Lot# 2576 $241.50
8/15/2011 NGC MS 67   Stack's Bowers The August 2011 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money Auction, 115/Lot# 7364 $21,850.00
12/5/2013 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1192/Lot# 4728 $881.25
11/16/2014 PCGS Genuine VF   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131447/Lot# 27694 $110.45
11/10/2015 PCGS XF 45   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 26078 $329.00
2/27/2018 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131810/Lot# 21587 $372.00


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