Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 1,377,600
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.38 (10/20/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1878 50C MS obverse 1878 50C MS reverse
Expand All    Collapse All

Description & Analysis

The massive production of fractional silver coins that occurred 1875-77 had the unintended effect of creating a redundancy of small silver. This was aggravated by the ever-falling price of silver during that decade, which brought out of hiding millions of earlier issues that had been hoarded or exported during the years of depreciated paper money that commenced in 1862. While many writers have claimed that the onset of heavy silver dollar coinage in 1878 overworked the mints to the point that they were unable to make more fractional silver coins, this is not what put the brakes on half dollar production that year. The fact was that there were already too many coins in Treasury vaults, and they were in violation of an 1875 law which limited the total value of fractional silver and fractional paper in circulation to 50 million dollars. A demand for additional half dollars would not appear until 1891, the final year of the Seated Liberty type.

The 1878(P) half dollar is not a rare or even scarce coin in overall numbers, but it is less often seen than Philadelphia Mint halves dated 1875-77. Many examples have incomplete strikes, and gems (MS-65 and higher) are rare.

The 1993 Wiley-Bugert book reported six die marriages consisting of five obverse and six reverse dies. More will likely appear when the Bugert Die Registry for Philadelphia halves of this period is published. Three collar gauges are known, these having 152, 153 and 156 reeds, respectively.

GRADE SUMMARY

Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation

 
NGC PRICE GUIDE
NGC CENSUS
AUCTION PRICES REALIZED
NGC REGISTRY
SCORE
FIND IT ON EBAY

Select Grade

Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/27/2019

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

1878 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 42.00 60.00 105 125 215 300 340 360 490 520 625 915 1530 1850 5100 15100 - - - -
$ - - - - 510 - - - - 2275 - 19000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 121
Low Grade: G
Average Grade: 55
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 1878 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-242153836101716109167-----119
-----------------------
---------------2------2
-----------------------
Total-242153836101716109187-----121
 -2 %3 %2 %12 %2 %7 %2 %5 %8 %14 %1 %5 %8 %7 %15 %6 %----- 
1878 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------1---1-----2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------1---1-----2
 ------------50 %---50 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
2/24/2003 PCGS MS 63   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 569 $1,323.00
3/27/2008 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 233, 239/Lot# 5858 $2,300.00
7/30/2008 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2008 July-August Baltimore, MD (ANA) US Coin Signature Auction #1114, 1114/Lot# 555 $7,475.00
10/13/2010 NGC Details VF Details  Teletrade Auction 2942, 2942/Lot# 1409 $80.50
10/14/2013 PCGS AU 55   Teletrade Auction 3452, 3452/Lot# 1581 $210.00
11/24/2013 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131349/Lot# 20468 $110.45
7/13/2014 NGC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/13/2014, 203/Lot# 205513 $58.30
4/22/2015 NGC MS 61   Heritage Auctions 2015 April 22 - 26 CSNS US Coins Signature Auction - Chicago Session(7), 1219/Lot# 7894 $399.50
7/26/2015 PCGS   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3534, 6113/Lot# 20290 $129.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1878 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base115121226535152756372578380210361179133315311928238538176685635396761492023269
5117123029441053961774478988010841230139916632080286247736685746111424177030
0000006177447898801084123013991663208028624773668574611142400
0000006717647969581131128214651796223333405729668585681317200
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: AU 55
Points: 802
Owner: Heymikep
 
Grade: XF 45
Points: 563
Owner: Kenneth Forsythe
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

There are no related articles for this coin.

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer