1892-S 50C MS66

PCGS#: 6464

Owner's Comments

Barberlover. Sale transacted from contact made on the PCGS message boards. A very nice MS 66 coin, one of three with only one finer. Well struck and lustrous as is common for this issue. Low mintage and highly respected in all grades, but mint state examples are a bit more common than the mintage would indicate due to the date being the first year of issue. You don't see very many MS 65 and above coins of this date. This is the first San Fransisco coin in the set and like the Philadelphia issues, most come strongly struck and some have full strikes. Coins from the San Fransisco Mint were made for every year of issue from 1892-1915, matching the output of the Philadelphia issues. Early date S-mints do not seem to have roller marks, but issues from about 1902-1907 seem to be the most affected by the planchet striations due to worn out roller fingers handling the planchets prior to striking. Try finding this date in original F12 up through AU 58 and you are in for a real challenge. As with the other coins in the series from 1892, more were saved as first year of issue, but not as many as the Philadelphia issue. This may at least partly be due to the number of collectors in the Eastern US as compared to the area served by the San Fransisco Mint.

Expert Comments

Jim Halperin: In the mid 1970s, half dollar collector extraordinaire James Bennett Pryor came across an original roll of 1892-S Barber half dollars. He kept the nicest one for his set and flew to Massachusetts to offer me the other 19. They were very frosty original Gems, coins that would grade, and no doubt have graded, MS64 to MS66 today. The 1892-S is a tough date in all grades, and rare in choice mint state condition. This mini-hoard greatly increased the survival rate of top grade specimens. The coins are highly recognizable and I occasionally see them today.

The interesting thing about this deal was that James Pryor told me if I bought the deal he'd give me a year to pay and would sell me a similar deal of 1920-S half dollars later. I was a very young man at the time, just a kid really. and this was a sizable deal for me. But James Pryor was a really gracious man and somehow he knew I'd pay him. At the end of a year I paid him and true to his word, a year or two after that he sold me an incredible deal of 40 choice to gem condition 1920-S half dollars.David Akers: This is one of the most valuable issues in this series in circulated grades, and it is definitely rare in Mint State and very rare in...Gem condition.

Diameter: 30.00 millimeters Designer: Charles E. Barber Edge: Reeded
Mintage: 1,029,028 Weight: 12.50 grams Metal Content: 90% Silver, 10% Copper

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades Survival Estimate Numismatic Rarity Relative Rarity by Type Relative Rarity by Series
All Grades 2,500 R-4.5 30 / 74 TIE 30 / 74 TIE
60 or Better 300 R-6.4 38 / 74 TIE 38 / 74 TIE
65 or Better 40 R-8.7 16 / 74 TIE 16 / 74 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67+ PCGS grade

Superior 2/1992:1683 - David Akers 2/5/1992 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Heritage 8/2010:3175, $32,200

2 MS66+ PCGS grade
3 MS66 PCGS grade  

Dale Friend Collection - Heritage 1/2009:3868 - Heritage 7/2009:658 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30550, $11,162.50

3 MS66 PCGS grade  
5 MS66 estimated grade  

J. Colvin Randall 3/1894 - J. M. Clapp - John H. Clapp - Clapp estate 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers and Merena 4/1997:2066 - John C. Hugon - Heritage 1/2005:4201, $9,200