Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1843 O 50C MS

Description & Analysis

The mintage of half dollars at the New Orleans Mint in 1843 was quite large, and circulated examples are plentiful. Mint State coins are not rare, but they are seen less often than their Philadelphia Mint cousins. Most survivors are well struck and attractive overall.

The Bugert Registry for New Orleans half dollars catalogs 18 die marriages for 1843-O. Mint records show that 10 obverse dies were shipped south for this year's coinage, and all 10 have been identified. Of the 15 reverses shipped, just eight have been observed of 1843-O halves, but this is not an unusual situation. Reverse dies could be carried over from previous years for as long as they remained serviceable. Undoubtedly, some shipped for previous years were used in 1843, while some of the 15 shipped for this date would have been carried over into 1844 and even later. Multiple collars were used, with reed counts of 146, 147, 148 and 149 being observed for 1843-O half dollars.

The most desirable variety for this issue is FS-301 (WB-103), on which the entire date was repunched clockwise to the first impression. This is most noticeable on numerals 18. Also sought by specialists is WB-102, on which the mintmark is doubled.