Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 5,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.46 (9/16/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1887 50C MS obverse 1887 50C MS reverse
Images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (HA.com)
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Description & Analysis

Like all the half dollars coined 1879-90, this edition was limited to the number of coins to satisfy the demand from date collectors and holiday gift givers and to discourage speculation in what would have been otherwise a proof-only issue. In that latter role, the 5,000 1887 half dollars were not really successful, and they became their own subject of speculation by hoarders. As a result this date is more available in Mint State than its mintage suggests. There are a fair number of gems, as well as lesser numbers of coins certified as PL (prooflike) and even DPL (deeply prooflike). The dies had little opportunity to wear, and nearly all specimens reveal some degree of mirror fields.

This appears to be the scarcest date of the 1879-90 period in circulated grades, and the reason for that is unknown. Perhaps, speculators were more successful this year in keeping the coins from entering circulation.

Wiley and Bugert state that only two die pairs were utilized for 1887 half dollars, but they aren't clear as to whether these were exclusive to either proofs or currency pieces or were used interchangeably. All halves of this date feature 152 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.

1887 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 525 600 700 775 925 965 1000 1030 1100 1180 1230 1440 1730 2300 4200 6800 20000 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 1800 2600 - 7700 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 113
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 61
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: 9/10/2019 1887 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base1242244113911412211894---103
-----------------------
---------------1------1
-----------------------
Total1242244113911412221894---104
 1 %2 %4 %2 %2 %4 %4 %1 %1 %3 %9 %1 %1 %4 %12 %21 %17 %9 %4 %--- 
1887 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------221-22---9
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total-------------221-22---9
 -------------22 %22 %11 %-22 %22 %--- 
1887 50C MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------1-------1
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total--------------1-------1
 --------------100 %------- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
10/27/1997 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 0992, 992/Lot# 1545 $945.00
5/30/2005 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 30 - June 16, 2005 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 31/Lot# 252 $2,012.50
7/7/2011 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2011 July Orlando Summer FUN Signature US Coin Auction Session(4), 1157/Lot# 8406 $632.50
7/27/2013 NGC MS 66   Stack's Bowers The August 2013 Chicago ANA World's Fair of Money , 192/Lot# 4264 $4,700.00
11/2/2014 PCGS AU 58   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10415 $1,325.00
8/10/2016 PCGS MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2016 August 10 - 14 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Anaheim Session(3), 1238/Lot# 4764 $1,292.50
1/14/2018 NGC Details AU Details  Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131804/Lot# 28308 $930.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1887 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1131914351508154311847118471111209722332617394846466794111
440135814591520154361618476161847111700214223613061418153626794110
00000018476161847111700214223613061418153626794100
0000001847123218471111398218824893504441360786794100
1887 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1168124613571427146116731753173017531776186519072029199321242495378344586545455357177313
1194128313801438153217001753173817611806187919482029203722482924400851546545494162490
0000001753173817611806187919482029203722482924400851546545494100
0000001753174517681835189319882029208023713354423358496545532900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66 PL
Points: 4646
Owner: Amata Sos
 
Grade: VG 8
Points: 1357
Owner: Joe G.
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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