Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $8.94 (10/24/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1881 50C MS obverse 1881 50C MS reverse
Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
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Description & Analysis

As had been the norm since 1879, the Philadelphia Mint alone coined half dollars during 1881. Their production was limited to the number needed to satisfy demand from collectors and those seeking current coins for gift presentations. The Mint was also included to strike enough currency pieces to reduce speculation in the proofs, but the former likewise became items of speculative interest and were widely hoarded. Thus, Mint State survivors are relatively common, with a number of superb gems certified. Coins grading lower than About Uncirculated are actually scarce and highly sought by collectors attempting to grade match their overall sets.

Examples certified as either PL (prooflike) or DPL (deeply prooflike) are not unusual, as the dies were run for a very short time and lost their original brilliance gradually.

A single die pair is known, and all 1881 halves feature 156 edge reeds.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/27/2019

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

1881 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 390 490 550 700 725 900 1000 1050 1100 1035 1200 1200 1550 2050 4200 7000 17500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 2100 4800 7500 26000 -
1881 50C MS PL
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 20000 - - - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 104
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: 10/20/2020 1881 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base11458212225-211821582---90
---------------1-1----2
---------------14-----5
-----------------------
Total11458212225-211823992---97
 1%1%4%5%8%2%1%2%2%2%5%-2%11%8%24%9%9%2%--- 
1881 50C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------33322----13
-----------------1----1
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------------33323----14
 -------------21%21%21%14%21%---- 
1881 50C MS DPL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---------------1------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total---------------1------1
 ---------------100%------ 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1881 50C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base111111591948103010841157120612211319147219633047351844445883793410899
1111119771097510481108117312111253137016352324320438264923656689220
00000071097510481108117312111253137016352324320438264923656600
000000829100210661132118912161286142117992685336141355403725000
1881 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base9691036108111241206133314041381142114881583160916781865196923193601443164735694770910631
991105110951151124813571404139414431520159216321740190020862746387851126473636686830
0000001404139414431520159216321740190020862746387851126473636600
0000001404140814661551160016551803193422023174415457926473703700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 62 PL
Points: 1354
Owner: ASK123
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.