Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1888 50C MS

Description & Analysis

Production of half dollars more than doubled over that of the several years previous, but this was not reflective of actual demand for additional coins in circulation. Treasury vaults were still filled with silver quarters and halves. The fact that mintages 1888-90 were the same each year indicates that the Mint was making a conscious effort to discourage speculation. Clearly, there were not 12,000 coin collectors in the USA at the time, but the low mintage issues made since 1879 were being actively hoarded for their potential rarity and value down the road.

The 1888 half dollar is only slightly more available than the several previous dates in Mint State, but worn pieces are available in greater numbers than for the 1879-87 halves.

All 1888 halves were produced using a single die pair and one collar having 153 reeds.