Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1881 50C MS

Description & Analysis

As had been the norm since 1879, the Philadelphia Mint alone coined half dollars during 1881. Their production was limited to the number needed to satisfy demand from collectors and those seeking current coins for gift presentations. The Mint was also included to strike enough currency pieces to reduce speculation in the proofs, but the former likewise became items of speculative interest and were widely hoarded. Thus, Mint State survivors are relatively common, with a number of superb gems certified. Coins grading lower than About Uncirculated are actually scarce and highly sought by collectors attempting to grade match their overall sets.

Examples certified as either PL (prooflike) or DPL (deeply prooflike) are not unusual, as the dies were run for a very short time and lost their original brilliance gradually.

A single die pair is known, and all 1881 halves feature 156 edge reeds.