Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 656,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $5.86 (7/20/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1869 S 50C MS obverse 1869 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Half dollar production at the San Francisco Mint declined in 1869, the total for this year being just over half the numbers struck in 1867-68. Examples of the 1869-S half dollar are thus scarce in the higher circulated grades, with fully Mint State pieces being quite rare. Though such coins are well struck, they frequently reveal obvious signs of die erosion (see below).

Some eight obverse dies were shipped to the San Francisco Mint for 1869 half dollars. No additional reverses were sent, as the mint evidently had enough on hand from previous year, a not unusual situation. Three each obverse and reverse dies have been observed for this issue. These were used in unique pairings for a total of just three die marriages. This could explain the heavy erosion lines often observed in the fields of 1869-S half dollars, as the total mintage would have required these dies to be used past their usual retirement points.

A minor MPD (misplaced date) variety is known, but the errant numeral is hidden in Liberty's gown and difficult to see.

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.

1869 S 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 40.00 80.00 100.00 120 315 490 575 720 1250 1300 1650 2000 3200 4500 7850 15100 26000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 5250 - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 74
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67

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, 66 series, 67 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 7/16/2019 1869 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base123313862276-6123531---74
-----------------------
---------------1------1
-----------------------
Total123313862276-6124531---75
 1 %3 %4 %4 %17 %11 %8 %3 %3 %9 %8 %-8 %1 %3 %5 %7 %4 %1 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/4/2005 NGC XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #33, 37/Lot# 892 $104.65
4/26/2006 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2006 April (CSNS) Signature Auction #404, 404/Lot# 2015 $5,462.50
2/11/2007 NGC MS 64   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1453 $3,910.00
11/17/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Teletrade Auction 2962, 2962/Lot# 1309 $161.00
12/2/2010 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions 2010 December Houston Signature US Coin Auction Session(4), 1147/Lot# 7997 $207.00
7/7/2013 PCGS VF 35   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/07/2013, 82/Lot# 122010 $167.20
7/27/2013 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4203 $3,642.50
1/19/2014 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131404/Lot# 26173 $141.00
11/15/2015 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131547/Lot# 27416 $258.50


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1869 50C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1135201237366745793100511381271160918862143252529363545426155157543136642135225957
4615721328049276186410491182138417011972227026623139378446796191958316227228870
0000008641049118213841701197222702662313937844679619195831622700
00000093410941227149617942057239827993342402250976867116241878900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 63
Points: 2936
Owner: Beau Newman
 
Grade: VF 30
Points: 366
Owner: 123cents
 
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