Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1845 O 50C MS

Description & Analysis

Half dollars dated 1845-O are plentiful in all circulated grades and only slightly scarce in Mint State. Most are found well struck, but this issue is particularly common with the elbow drapery and Liberty's foot diminished or entirely eradicated by severe die polishing.

The Philadelphia Mint's Engraving Department shipped 14 obverse dies and 12 reverses to New Orleans for 1845 half dollars. Bill Bugert has identified 13 and 11, respectively, these used to create 20 die marriages. Variations in the collars used were reduced this year, with just two known having reed counts of 147 and 148, respectively.

The 1845-O half dollar is a variety collector's delight, the many blundered dies being attributed to Chief Engraver Longacre, who was still perfecting the skill of die sinking. NGC attributes five of these under its VarietyPlus Service. The most desirable ones are all included in The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Varieties of United States Coins, Volume II. The most visually appealing of these are FS-301 (WB-104) and FS-302 (WB-106). Also highly sought be specialists is the O over horizontal O mintmark variety, FS-501 (WB-103).