Description and Analysis
Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1878 50C PF
Description & Analysis
A total of 820 proof half dollars were coined during the first quarter of 1878. Some 20 of these were held back, perhaps as being of insufficient quality to sell, leaving a pool of 800 pieces for sale. As it is, only 670 of these were placed before year's end, the balance being placed into circulation at face value in 1879.
The 1878 proof half dollar typically features the new reverse hub that debuted in 1876, but there have been recurring reports (none of them recent) of one or more Type 1 reverse (1866-76) proofs.
Gems of this issue seem to be a little more available than for most dates of the 1870s, at least according to NGC's census. A fair number of Cameo pieces have been certified, as well, though most of these fall short of the gem level.