1851 50C AU55 Certification #26808901, PCGS #6266
The 1851 Half Dollar is a wonderful, small-mintage date that is difficult to find in every grade from Good to Gem. Apparently, several distractions in 1851 affected production of silver pieces above a Dime. One such distraction was the introduction of the new Three-Cent piece. Another was the extreme ramp-up in the production of the One Dollar gold piece -- the mintage of that denomionation jumped from 481,953 coins in 1850 to a record 3.3+ million in 1851. Quarter Eagles poured out to the tune of nearly 1.4 million coins (the largest mintage in that denomination's history). The same was true of the $20 gold piece, whose mintage nearly doubled from that of the previous year. Fortunately, some astute collectors gathered up and protected a small selection of 1851 Half Dollars, one of which is an amazing, toned PCGS MS67 that is a unique Top Pop. Full struck examples of this date are quite scarce and we've yet to see one that shows the crispness of strike that we normally expect of a Philadelphia Mint product.