Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 950,000
Obverse Designer: Charles E. Barber
Reverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.39 (6/17/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS obverse 1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The 1892 and 1893 Columbian half dollars were the first commemorative coins issued by the United States. They were coined to commemorate the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This event, also known as the Chicago World's Fair, was to be held in 1892.

With the cost of the fair ballooning, an enterprising manager of the expo suggested that souvenir half dollars be produced and sold for $1 each to help cover the cost of the exposition. The bill to produce the coin was passed on August 5th of 1892 and called for the mintage of no more than 5 million half dollar coins.

The striking of these coins began with special proof issues on November 19th of 1892 to national fanfare. So great was the fervor that the company that produced the Remington typewriter paid an astounding $10,000 for the first coin struck, an amount equal to nearly a quarter of a million dollars today!

However, these coins are not usually worth nearly that much today aside from the few survivors in very high grade. With a mintage of 950,000 in 1892 and a further 1,550,405 produced in 1893, the Columbian Exposition Half Dollar is the most common type of the entire classic commemorative series.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/22/2019

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

1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 16.15 16.25 17.30 18.50 18.50 22.00 29.00 34.00 48.00 58.00 81.00 143 425 1100 4500 37500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 85.00 190 550 2300 11500 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 5803
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

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, 68 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 6/11/2019 1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------116317569613860162---396
----------------32----5
---------------111----3
-----------------------
Total--------116317569613964192---404
 --------0 %0 %1 %1 %4 %14 %24 %34 %16 %5 %0 %--- 
1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base1-4298151218532041014365512521909855218342--5404
--------------3361612---40
---------------98101---28
---------------1143---9
Total1-4298151218532041014365512551922870248502--5481
 0 %-0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %1 %4 %0 %3 %12 %23 %35 %16 %5 %1 %0 %-- 
1892 COLUMBIAN 50C MS Deep Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------1-2-----3
-----------------------
--------------1-------1
-----------------------
Total--------------2-2-----4
 --------------50 %-50 %----- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/7/2000 PCGS MS 63   Heritage Auctions 2000 June Long Beach Bullet Sale #228, 228/Lot# 687 $34.50
8/20/2001 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1474, 1474/Lot# 1526 $152.60
1/15/2008 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2008 January Orlando, FL (FUN) US Coin Final Session #455, 455/Lot# 11018 $373.75
1/29/2012 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg January 29 - February 1, 2012 The Pre-Long Beach Auction, 67/Lot# 2756 $920.00
12/2/2012 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/02/2012, 51/Lot# 87538 $122.10
3/10/2013 PCGS MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 742, 751/Lot# 741 $160.00
4/28/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3479, 6028/Lot# 20704 $103.40
6/29/2014 NGC MS 61   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 197739 $30.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1892 50C MS COLUMBIAN Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base5054637272813276819413115121225133056513262308398466131327924401
5157667275814778851061381712252774088191653286748608835169860
000000477885106138171225277408819165328674860883500
00000061799011914419223830448710721981342557371105700
1892 50C MS COLUMBIAN
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4550596363722872768511913919423030452712522197381763701287023758
475360636672437379961261572062553787691567273746688537164990
00000043737996126157206255378769156727374668853700
00000057758210813217621827945310101882327755191070300
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 5519
Owner: Gregg Bingham
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4668
Owner: Chippewa
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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