Expert Comments

Ron Guth

Of all the coins made by the San Francisco mint in 1861, the Half Dollar had the highest mintage (the only other coin that came close was the 1861-S $20 gold piece).  However, this fact does not make the 1861-S Half Dollar necessarily rare.  Compared with other Civil War-era Half Dollars, the 1861-S is not as scarce as the 1864-S or the 1865-S, but nowhere near as common as the 1861 or 1861-O. 

Of the roughly three dozen Mint State examples certified by PCGS (as of October 2011), the most frequently-encountered grade is MS-64.  Gem 1861-S Half Dollars are very rare; the finest known is a single PCGS MS-66.

 

PCGS #
6306
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Weight
12.40 grams
Mintage
939500
Metal
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Pop Higher
39
Pop Lower
169
Region
The United States of America
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates Learn More

Grades
65 or Better 550 R-5.9 26 / 66 47 / 126
All Grades 60 R-8.4 38 / 66 TIE 62 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 6 R-9.7 22 / 66 TIE 41 / 126 TIE
65 or Better 550
All Grades 60
60 or Better 6
65 or Better R-5.9
All Grades R-8.4
60 or Better R-9.7
65 or Better 26 / 66
All Grades 38 / 66 TIE
60 or Better 22 / 66 TIE
65 or Better 47 / 126
All Grades 62 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 41 / 126 TIE

Condition Census Learn More

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