PCGS: The Standard for the Rare Coin Industry

1842 50C Small Date, Rev of 1839 (Regular Strike)

Series: Liberty Seated Half Dollars 1839-1891

PCGS VF20<BR>Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.ha.com" target="_blank">Heritage Numismatic Auctions</a>

PCGS VF20
Image courtesy of Heritage Numismatic Auctions

DATE COMPARISON

DATE COMPARISON

REVERSE COMPARISON

REVERSE COMPARISON

PCGS #:
6241
Designer:
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge:
Reeded
Diameter:
30.00 millimeters
Weight:
13.36 grams
Mintage:
2,012,764
Mint:
Philadelphia
Metal:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Major Varieties

Current Auctions - PCGS Graded
Current Auctions - NGC Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - PCGS Graded
For Sale Now at Collectors Corner - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades Survival
Estimate
Numismatic
Rarity
Relative Rarity
By Type
Relative Rarity
By Series
All Grades 4 R-9.8 1 / 66 TIE 1 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 66 1 / 126 TIE
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 66 1 / 126
Survival Estimate
All Grades 4
60 or Better 1
65 or Better
Numismatic Rarity
All Grades R-9.8
60 or Better R-10.0
65 or Better R-10.1
Relative Rarity By Type All Specs in this Type
All Grades 1 / 66 TIE
60 or Better 1 / 66
65 or Better 1 / 66
Relative Rarity By Series All Specs in this Series
All Grades 1 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 1 / 126 TIE
65 or Better 1 / 126

Condition Census What Is This?

Pos Grade Image Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade

Stack's 4/1988:1279, $2,530 (unrecognized as a rarity) - Stack’s 11/2005:285, $57,500 - Tony Terranova, sold privately in 12/2005 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30486 (as PCGS MS64 06594109), $99,875

2 Net XF45 estimated grade

Dick Osburn Collection - Stack's/Bowers 8/2011:7009, not sold

3 VF20 PCGS grade

Discovered by Brian Greer in 1998 - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:1139, not sold - Bowers & Merena 1/2001:205, not sold - offered at $41,000 by Heritage at $41,000 in 4/2001 on behalf of an anonymous client - Heritage 8/2001:6166 (as PCGS VF20 06559927), not sold - Heritage 1/2013:5646 (as PCGS VF20 06559927), not sold

4 G06 PCGS grade  PCGS #6241 (MS)     6

Discovered in 2012 - Rich Uhrich

#1 MS64 PCGS grade

Stack's 4/1988:1279, $2,530 (unrecognized as a rarity) - Stack’s 11/2005:285, $57,500 - Tony Terranova, sold privately in 12/2005 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30486 (as PCGS MS64 06594109), $99,875

#2 Net XF45 estimated grade

Dick Osburn Collection - Stack's/Bowers 8/2011:7009, not sold

#3 VF20 PCGS grade

Discovered by Brian Greer in 1998 - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:1139, not sold - Bowers & Merena 1/2001:205, not sold - offered at $41,000 by Heritage at $41,000 in 4/2001 on behalf of an anonymous client - Heritage 8/2001:6166 (as PCGS VF20 06559927), not sold - Heritage 1/2013:5646 (as PCGS VF20 06559927), not sold

 PCGS #6241 (MS)     6 #4 G06 PCGS grade

Discovered in 2012 - Rich Uhrich

Ron Guth:

The following information was provided by Heritage Rare Coin Galleries in an April 4, 2001 press release to announce the discovery of this rare and important variety. Since then, additional examples have been found:

"Christian Gobrecht's original obverse hub for the Seated Liberty half dollar was used from 1839 through early 1842; later in 1842, the Medium Date hub came into use.

The original reverse design of the Seated Liberty half dollar featured small letters in the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and in the denomination HALF DOL. Prior to the discovery of the present example, this reverse design had been identified on all 1839 Seated Liberty, 1840 (P), 1840-O, 1841, and 1841-O half dollars, as well as on some 1842-O examples. Now, an 1842-dated example from the Philadelphia Mint has been discovered.Coinfacts.com

As alluded to above, 1842 was a transitional year for the Seated Liberty half dollar. The Mint jettisoned the Small Date obverse hub in favor of a Medium Date design, and the Small Letters reverse was also used for the last time. There are two varieties of the 1842-O half dollar, the Small Date, Small Letters variety, and the Medium Date, Large Letters variety. With a mintage of only 203,000 pieces, the former variety has long been heralded as a key issue in this long-lived series.Coinfacts.com

If one were to look at Guide Books dated prior to 1999, they would see that the Philadelphia Mint's delivery of half dollars in 1842 was divided between Small Date and Medium Date examples, all of which displayed Large Letters reverses. The 2000 Guide Book was the first to list the much rarer 1842 Small Date, Small Letters variety. This variety is still unpriced in all grades in the Guide Book-the only Seated half dollar with this distinction.

The identification of the present coin indicates that the New Orleans Mint was not the only coinage facility that used the Small Letters reverse for its 1842 half dollar production. The Philadelphia Mint also used at least one reverse die with this design to produce an unknown, although seemingly limited number of Small Date, Small Letters half dollars in 1842. To date, this coin is the only known example of this newly discovered variety. Walter Breen did not mention the 1842 Small Date, Small Letters half dollar in his 1988 Encyclopedia, and this variety was also unknown to Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert when they published their book The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars in 1993. It is interesting to note that the reverse die used to produce this coin has not been identified as being used with any other obverse die in the Seated Liberty half dollar series."