1862-S 50C AU53 Certification #13429891, PCGS #6308
In 1862, employees at the San Francisco Mint produced over 1.3 million Half Dollars. Most of those coins were destined to enter circulation. Only a few nice ones found their way into coin collections (such was the destiny of most San Francisco Mint products during the late 1800's). The average quality of a Mint State 1862-S Half Dollar is MS63, with fairly equal amounts of MS62 and MS64 examples on either side. Gems are exceedingly rare, with only two known that are MS65 or better. The finest is the PCGS MS66 (formerly of the Eliasberg and Gardner collections). The strike quality of this date is usually strong, but keep an eye on the stars at the top of the obverse -- they are often flat.