Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 633,900
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.26 (5/28/2017)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1870 50C MS obverse 1870 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Those of us who handle coins on a daily basis take much for granted. We assume certain dates are 'easy' to find in mint condition. But stop and consider for a moment how extraordinary it is that any coins have come down to us from 1870 in mint state. 1870 was the year Prussia launched its offensive against the French Republic and occupied Paris. Native American tribes were still living on the Great Plains, not on reservations. General Custer still had six years of life left before making his fateful decision to enter Little Big Horn. And here is a coin that had a considerable amount of purchasing power in 1870, struck for circulation, yet was never actually handled in the channels of commerce.

Description and Analysis courtesy of Heritage Auctions and may not be republished without written permission.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/3/2016

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

1870 50C MS
Base $ 32.00 50.00 60.00 95.00 225 300 365 460 625 670 775 975 1575 3000 7250 13500 24000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 4250 9650 - - -

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Total Graded: 80
Low Grade: VG
Average Grade: 53
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/23/2007 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 23-26, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 42/Lot# 2783 $12,650.00
11/16/2008 PCGS VF 35   Teletrade Auction 2612, 2612/Lot# 1678 $138.00
7/8/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Heritage Auctions "2010 July Orlando, FL (Summer FUN) Signature US Coin Auction #1142", 1142/Lot# 8026 $184.00
11/29/2012 PCGS AU 55   Heritage Auctions 2012 November 29 - December 2 US Coin Signature Auction - Houston Session(4), 1177/Lot# 9260 $485.28
7/27/2013 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4205 $2,350.00
9/29/2013 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131341/Lot# 24361 $135.13
4/13/2014 PCGS VF 35   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/13/2014, 181/Lot# 178018 $200.20
11/2/2014 PCGS AU 53   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10382 $325.00
10/28/2015 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 October 28 Gardner Collection IV US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(1), 1229/Lot# 98687 $9,987.50

NGC Registry

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