Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 1,004,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.4400g
ASW: 0.3599oz
Melt Value: $6.35 (10/19/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1870 S 50C MS obverse 1870 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

After a dip in production during 1869, the San Francisco Mint topped a million half dollars this year. Still this issue is slightly scarce in low grades and much more so in grades XF and higher. Mint State survivors are very elusive, and many display signs of die erosion from excessive use. To remove the resulting furrows in the fields, the dies were repolished, and this left them with diminished relief within the shallow design elements. Liberty's elbow drapery and her left foot may be partially abraded from the obverse.

Six die pairs were shipped to the San Francisco Mint for 1870's half dollar coinage, and it appears that not all were used. Only two obverse dies and three reverses have been identified, and they were employed in four die marriages. All 1870-S half dollars feature the Very Small S mintmark used in preceding years, and there are only positional varieties to distinguish these dies.

Two collars were used in this mintage, these having either 139 or 140 reeds. Aside from the several die marriages, there are no desirable varieties for 1870-S.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/26/2019

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

1870 S 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 40.00 60.00 125 185 450 675 750 1000 1250 1500 1730 3650 4750 9250 22500 - - - - -
$ - - - - 1380 - - - 6750 - - - - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 65
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 45
High Grade: 65

The chart showing 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 1870 S 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-134119118252121221-----65
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-134119118252121221-----65
 -2 %5 %6 %17 %14 %17 %12 %3 %8 %3 %2 %3 %2 %3 %3 %2 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/20/2005 PCGS MS 62   Goldberg February 20-23, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 28/Lot# 1265 $4,025.00
1/5/2011 PCGS XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2011 January Tampa FUN Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(6), 1151/Lot# 11039 $373.75
3/7/2011 PCGS VF 30   Teletrade Auction 3026, 3026/Lot# 1397 $161.00
4/14/2013 PCGS G 4   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/14/2013, 70/Lot# 110046 $34.85
7/27/2013 PCGS MS 62   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4207 $3,877.50
3/28/2014 PCGS MS 62   Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 5385 $3,055.00
9/21/2014 NGC Details XF Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131439/Lot# 29788 $141.00
11/2/2014 PCGS F 15   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10384 $110.00
3/6/2019 NGC F 12   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131911/Lot# 23782 $94.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1870 50C MS S
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base11432012985279339741110131514211609177621242936406448176685886714123226843670843519
4816223337466294710191178135014841665189223953312431554407412106191697727359389780
0000001019117813501484166518922395331243155440741210619169772735900
0000001065124713861546172020082665368845666062814012371198303203300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: VF 25
Points: 527
Owner: 123cents
 
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