Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 1,352,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.50 (7/16/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1862 S 50C MS obverse 1862 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Silver coins circulated freely in the West, where paper money was shunned, so the production of half dollars at the San Francisco Mint went on without interruption. This issue is common in most circulated grades, becoming only slightly scarce at the XF and AU levels. Many of the latter pieces are from the so-called Guatemala Hoard, which came onto the market during the 1950s. These coins were all harshly cleaned and will not receive numeric grades, so they are not represented in the NGC Census. Certifiably Mint State coins are rare, with gems being especially so.

The San Francisco Mint received six obverse dies for 1862 half dollars, five of which have been identified by Wiley and Bugert. Only two reverses were shipped, and these feature the Type 2 hub and Small S mintmark, both of which debuted on S-Mint halves this year. Since five reverse dies have been observed on 1862-S half dollars, three of these were holdovers that may or may not have been used previously. Some six die marriages have been identified in all---three having the Large S first seen in 1855, one with the Medium S of 1857 vintage and two of the new hub and Small S. Despite being new, the latter mintmark punch was broken at its top.

The only varieties of note are these mintmark sizes. The Large S is the most common and the only one collectible in Mint State, while the other two are available in circulated grades but are exceedingly rare unworn. Two different collars have been identified, these having either 139 or 140 reeds.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/25/2019

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1862 S 50C MS
Base $ 65.00 85.00 120 120 280 455 495 840 1150 1270 1580 1850 2600 6250 18000 40000 - - - -

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Total Graded: 146
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 65

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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 7/7/2020 1862 S 50C MS

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1862 S 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 53
Points: 1005
Owner: 123cents
Grade: AU 53
Points: 1005
Owner: Terri J.
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