Expert Comments

Ron Guth

In 1856, employees at the New Orleans Mint cranked out over 2.6 million Half Dollars representing a total value of $1.329 miilion.  Though most of those entered circulation, a large number were preserved by collectors in high grades.  Today, dozens of 1856-O Half Dollars exist in a range of grades from MS62 to MS65, and smaller quantities are available in MS65 to MS66.  Mid-range Mint State examples are quite affordable but, not unexpectedly, the 1856-O Half Dollar becomes an expensive condition-rarity in MS66.

The typical 1856-O Half Dollar shows weakness in some of the stars, the denticles on both sides, and perhaps in some of the reverse legends.  Accordingly, coins with full strikes should command a nice premium. 

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
2658000
Weight
12.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
240
Pop Lower
242
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 2000 R-4.6 61 / 66 TIE 107 / 126 TIE
All Grades 180 R-7.2 60 / 66 TIE 96 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 12 R-9.5 32 / 66 TIE 55 / 126 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade
1 MS66 PCGS grade
3 MS65 PCGS grade
3 MS65 PCGS grade
3 MS65 PCGS grade