Expert Comments

Ron Guth

In it's fifth year of production, the San Francisco Mint issued 376,000 Half Dollars...a reasonably large mintage for the period, and certainly one that would not be considered rare based on the number of coins struck.  However, few nice ones were saved by collectors, making the 1858-S Half Dollar a true condition-rarity.  The PCGS CoinFacts Board of Experts thought that as many as 43 examples might have survived in Mint State, but their estimate was made circa 2008 and may be a bit optimistic today.  Of the Mint State examples examined by PCGS, virtually all are in the grade range from MS62 to MS64.  Gems are exceedingly rare and we know of only one at the MS66 level (that being the remarkable PCGS MS66 from the Norweb and Gene Gardner collections.

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
476000
Weight
12.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
52
Pop Lower
153
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 650 R-5.7 37 / 66 61 / 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 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Numismatic Gallery 8/1953:631 - Norweb Collection - Bowers & Merena 11/1988 - Heritage 1/2007:983, $34,500 - Pinnacle Rarities, sold privately in 8/2010 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 10/2014:98499, $32,900 - Heritage 4/2017:4055, $32,900

2 MS65 PCGS grade
2 MS65 estimated grade
4 MS64 PCGS grade
4 MS64 PCGS grade