Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1848 50C MS

Description & Analysis

The Philadelphia Mint coined only about the number of half dollars as in 1847, and this is issue is noticeably scarcer than 1847(P). It is not, however, the rarity it's often touted as. The number of Mint State survivors is lower than for the two preceding years, but there appear to be enough to meet the needs of very advanced collectors. The higher circulated grades are also somewhat elusive and command premiums over those for common dates. 1848(P) halves typically are well struck from dies that reveal little or no erosion.

The lack of die wear may be explained by the large number of die marriages known for this modest mintage. A total of 17 pairings have been identified, these produced with 12 obverse and nine reverse dies. Two reeding counts have been found---144 and 145.

Several repunched date (RPD) varieties are known. One of these was designated as 1848/47 by Wiley and Bugert, but the numeral remnants underlying the second 8 are all but impossible to see. Therefore, NGC labels this die as simply 4/4 (VP-002, WB-102), and its overdate status is questionable.