Expert Comments

Ron Guth

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.

30.00 millimeters
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
13.36 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
The United States of America
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Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

65 or Better 500 R-6.0 19 / 66 TIE 36 / 126 TIE
All Grades 40 R-8.7 25 / 66 TIE 42 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 3 R-9.8 13 / 66 TIE 18 / 126 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade

Barney Bluestone 2/1946:809 - John Jay Pittman Collection - David Akers 5/1998:1541 - Eugene Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30496, $49,937.50 - Heritage 2/2015:3111, not sold

2 MS65 PCGS grade

Dick Osburn Collection - Stack's/Bowers 8/2011:7039, $8,912.50 - Goldbergs 1/2015:1400, $15,862.50

2 MS65 PCGS grade
2 MS65 estimated grade

American Numismatic Rarities 12/2003:732, not sold

5 MS64 PCGS grade MS64 PCGS grade