Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,528,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.26 (10/16/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1876 S 50C MS obverse 1876 S 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

This year saw the second highest mintage of Seated Liberty Half Dollars from the San Francisco Mint. Examples are common across all grades short of gem Mint State. For the advanced collector there are a few gems, and these are highly sought. Some 1876-S halves were coined from dies having convex faces, which give the coins a concave appearance. This effect was created by basining the dies with a plate having a sharper radius than normal.

The number of dies sent to San Francisco for this year's half dollar coinage is not presently known, but 43 die marriages are confirmed with more anticipated after further study. These feature various combinations of 37 obverse dies and 31 reverses. All 1876-S half dollars were coined from one of four known collars. These range from 147 through 150 reeds, inclusive. While there are few collectors of these coins by collar varieties, expert Bill Bugert noted that coins having 149 or 150 reeds are much more elusive than those from the other two collars.

Just two mintmark punches appear on 1876-S halves, both being ones that debuted in 1875. The Very Small S is the more common, but the Micro S is not scarce enough to common a premium. The Very Small S dies are divided into those having the old reverse hub of 1866 and ones taken from the new hub which debuted this year. The differences are slight, the most obvious being that the old hub has both buds on the olive branch open, while the new hub has the lower one closed. The Type 2 hub is very rare for this date, with just two reverse dies featuring it. NGC will attribute these varieties under its VarietyPlus Service.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/27/2019

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

1876 S 50C MS
Base $ 40.00 60.00 70.00 80.00 160 230 245 325 400 475 550 715 975 1500 3750 10000 12700 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 1030 1900 4400 - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 259
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 55
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 1876 S 50C MS
 1 %3 %4 %2 %7 %5 %8 %3 %4 %7 %14 %1 %6 %6 %14 %11 %3 %1 %0 %--- 
1876 S 50C MS Prooflike
 -------------67 %--33 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
1/15/2006 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2145, 2145/Lot# 1268 $1,008.00
2/1/2009 PCGS MS 61   Goldberg February 1-4, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 51/Lot# 963 $489.00
11/11/2012 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131247/Lot# 20743 $94.00
7/27/2013 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4237 $3,055.00
11/3/2013 PCGS VG 8   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 776, 785/Lot# 493 $60.00
3/23/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 03/23/2014, 178/Lot# 180229 $159.50
10/12/2014 PCGS Genuine AU   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131442/Lot# 25233 $99.88
11/30/2014 PCGS XF 40   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131449/Lot# 23669 $129.25

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1876 50C MS S
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 5212
Owner: Malibu Collector
Grade: MS 62
Points: 1363
Owner: T. J. Newman Collection
View the Registry Image Gallery

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