Coin Specifications

Category: Seated Liberty Half Dollars (1839-1891)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 200,000
Obverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Reverse Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.15 (12/5/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1891 50C MS obverse 1891 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

In its final year of production the Seated Liberty Half Dollar finally enjoyed something like a normal production run after years of being struck in very limited numbers. The Treasury's hoard of pre-1879 half dollars was finally reduced to the point where additional coins were needed for general circulation, though full production didn't return until 1893.

This date is moderately scarce in circulated grades, becoming genuinely scarce at the XF level and higher. Mint State coins are more available than for 1879-90, but not by a significant percentage. Enough gems survive to meet the demand from advanced series collectors, and small numbers of both PL (prooflike) and DPL (deeply prooflike) coins have been certified.

Five die marriages are known from five obverse and four reverse dies. It's possible that one of these pairs was unique to the proof strikings, but the Wiley-Bugert book does not specify this. Two collars were employed having 153 or 156 reeds, respectively, but again it's not stated in their book whether more than one was used in making the currency pieces.

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.

1891 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ 85.00 110 135 180 225 335 375 460 575 610 675 800 1280 1620 4150 7000 27500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - 915 1350 1850 4600 8000 - -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 192
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: 12/3/2019 1891 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base132712532314202101522341881---182
----------------2-----2
---------------1-1----2
-----------------------
Total132712532314202101522352091---186
 1 %2 %1 %4 %6 %3 %2 %1 %2 %8 %11 %1 %5 %8 %12 %19 %11 %5 %1 %--- 
1891 50C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------1-2131----8
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------1-2131----8
 ------------13 %-25 %13 %38 %13 %---- 
1891 50C MS DPL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------11------2
-----------------1----1
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total--------------11-1----3
 --------------33 %33 %-33 %---- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/25/2004 PCGS MS 61   Goldberg January 25-28, 2004 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 23/Lot# 2397 $368.00
7/10/2011 NGC MS 62   Teletrade Auction 3098, 3098/Lot# 1625 $661.25
7/7/2013 PCGS Genuine XF   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/07/2013, 82/Lot# 122030 $107.80
1/8/2014 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 January 8 - 12 FUN US Coin Signature Auction - Orlando Session(2), 1201/Lot# 4543 $9,400.00
11/2/2014 PCGS XF 40   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 828, 837/Lot# 10419 $287.00
5/31/2015 PCGS AU 53   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131523/Lot# 24503 $540.50
7/21/2015 NGC XF 40   Stack's Bowers July 2015 Baltimore Auction, 6105/Lot# 32103 $105.75
6/12/2019 PCGS VF 35   Heritage Auctions Tuesday & Wednesday US Coins Weekly Online Auction Session(1), 131925/Lot# 25622 $132.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1891 50C MS PL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111113305656847588589219661131125716762828334045666362902213011
1111111040860470879187993610211173139620602998374851647248103510
0000004086047087918799361021117313962060299837485164724800
0000004866447338249009511076121515362444316941575763813500
1891 50C MS DPL
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1111111111111123451412048397049111
111111111111178223451374436055767049110
000000111111178223451374436055767049100
0000001111111156423452747459963127049100
1891 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base122028839550264268482087499011731271133314501843223336204630884975051115316810
7424332443154965672983891310511206129213721581197326953957603688498721130390
0000007298389131051120612921372158119732695395760368849872100
0000007758569511112123813121411171221033158429374438849993700
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: XF 40
Points: 642
Owner: 123cents
 
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