Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 3,200,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.37 (10/13/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1875 S 50C MS obverse 1875 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Like the other mints this year, San Francisco contributed to the great effort in retiring fractional currency notes with silver coin. As a result, the 1875-S half dollar is common across all grades. There is a generous supply of Mint State coins, too, including a number of gems for the type collector.

The San Francisco Mint requested just six obverse dies for the upcoming year of 1875, perhaps not realizing the impact that implementation of the Specie Resumption Act would have on its workload. The number of dies shipped is not known, but 16 obverses have been identified in the Bugert Die Registry book. These were paired with 15 reverses to comprise the 22 die marriages thus far identified. 1875-S half dollars were coined with collars having either 147 or 148 reeds.

Four different mintmark sizes were used for this issue, making it a variety collector's delight. Most dies display the Very Small S which debuted this year and is the common variety for it. Also used was a single reverse die having the Small Wide S dating from 1871. The Medium Wide S, seen also on 1874-S halves, is likewise represented with just a single die. As in the previous year, this mintmark is placed extremely low in the field and tilted at an odd angle. Finally, there is just a single die bearing a Micro S which would become more familiar on 1876-77 San Francisco halves. For the 1875-S issue, however, it is rare.

It should be noted that dies were prepared in batches, and the appearance of a particular mintmark punch over several years does not mean that new dies having that punch were made for each year. In all likelihood, these were dies that remained usable but had been set aside unintentionally until they were randomly selected in a later years.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/26/2019

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

1875 S 50C MS
Base $ 42.00 60.00 75.00 80.00 160 220 245 300 365 450 550 700 925 1400 3500 6250 24500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 1600 4700 8500 - -

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Total Graded: 281
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 60
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: 10/8/2019 1875 S 50C MS
 1 %0 %2 %2 %4 %2 %2 %2 %2 %5 %12 %0 %9 %11 %13 %20 %10 %2 %0 %--- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/6/2004 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 6-7, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 26/Lot# 809 $2,415.00
6/27/2005 NGC MS 62   David Lawrence Rare Coins Auction 43: The Cook Family Collection, 47/Lot# 949 $346.15
7/25/2007 NGC MS 62   Teletrade Auction 2399, 2399/Lot# 1384 $532.00
5/30/2012 NGC XF 45   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(4), 1171/Lot# 8924 $139.15
10/17/2012 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 1746 $3,737.50
11/15/2013 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2013 November 15 - 16 Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part II Signature Auction - New York Session(3), 1190/Lot# 33739 $1,997.50
3/30/2014 PCGS VF 30   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/30/2014, 184/Lot# 182610 $123.20
7/9/2015 PCGS Genuine UNC   Heritage Auctions 2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(4), 1222/Lot# 7472 $305.50
1/6/2016 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(2), 1231/Lot# 4057 $5,170.00

NGC Registry

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