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: $6.35 (10/20/2019)
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.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/25/2019

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

1862 S 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 65.00 85.00 120 120 280 455 495 840 1150 1270 1580 1850 2600 6250 18000 40000 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 142
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: 10/8/2019 1862 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base3375291624661410-16651-----142
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total3375291624661410-16651-----142
 2 %2 %5 %4 %20 %11 %17 %4 %4 %10 %7 %-1 %4 %4 %4 %1 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/21/2009 NGC AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 412, 418/Lot# 7675 $264.50
9/4/2011 NGC Details XF Details  Goldberg September 4-6, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 65/Lot# 1262 $207.00
2/28/2012 PCGS AU 55   Stack's Bowers The March 2012 Baltimore Auction, 135/Lot# 3318 $776.25
3/4/2012 PCGS VF 35   Teletrade Auction 3235, 3235/Lot# 1665 $149.50
7/22/2012 PCGS XF 40   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/22/2012, 32/Lot# 64828 $247.50
9/6/2012 PCGS VF 25   Heritage Auctions 2012 September 6-9 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(4), 1174/Lot# 8489 $152.75
9/25/2013 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(7), 1189/Lot# 8288 $367.78
12/24/2017 NGC VF 20   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131801/Lot# 21077 $109.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1862 50C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1175230255381793838933100511591321145016582352286042175656754311584185082981035670
5919323829751880887095710561213136415191889252133124697628588901389222275317630
0000008709571056121313641519188925213312469762858890138922227500
00000090198111081267140715892121269137655176691410237162002604300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 53
Points: 1005
Owner: 123cents
 
Grade: XF Details
Points: 397
Owner: B.L. Birdy
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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