Description and Analysis

Seated Liberty Half Dollars
1849 50C MS

Description & Analysis

The Philadelphia Mint's production of half dollars rose a normal level in 1849, following its dip the previous year. This would be the last year of significant mintages there until 1853, when the new weight standard went into effect. A drop in the price of gold following the vast California discoveries of 1848-49 soon led to the hoarding and exporting of silver coins. This issue is plentiful across all grades through Extremely Fine, and only at the AU and Mint State level does it become slightly scarce. Gems are, of course, rare.

A total of 15 die marriages are known from the pairing of 11 obverses with a like number of reverses. Numerous repunched date varieties have been cataloged, the best of these featuring completely doubled dates (FS-301, WB-102 and VP-002, WB-103). The collars used featured either 144 or 145 reeds.