Owner's Comments

No-Drapery Die State, PQ 53/55?

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

The 1856-S Half Dollar is inherently scarce because of its low mintage, but it is even more rare because collectors saved precious few examples back in the year of issue.  A quick look at the PCGS Population Report indicates just how few Mint State 1856-S Half Dollars have survived.  Most grade in the low to middle range, with only one or two examples better than MS63.  The strike quality on this date is generally strong.  At least one of the PCGS MS64 examples shows some streaking of the planchet caused by improper mixing of the metal alloy, but this appears to be rare (since this was only the second year of production at the San Francisco Mint, perhaps some minor glitches can be forgiven).

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
211000
Weight
12.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
30
Pop Lower
97
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 450 R-6.1 15 / 66 TIE 28 / 126 TIE
All Grades 6 R-9.7 8 / 66 TIE 11 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 66 1 / 126

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade MS64 PCGS grade

Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1969, $14,300 - Legend Rare Coin Auctions 9/2015:145, not sold

1 MS64 PCGS grade

Jason Carter, sold privately in 3/2002 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98475, $12,925 (plate-matched) - Stack's/Bowers 11/2015:20064, not sold

3 MS63 PCGS grade MS63 PCGS grade
3 MS63 estimated grade
5 MS62 PCGS grade