Expert Comments

Ron Guth

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.

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
1352000
Weight
12.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Country
The United States of America
Pop Higher
76
Pop Lower
190
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 700 R-5.6 38 / 66 TIE 64 / 126 TIE
All Grades 60 R-8.4 38 / 66 TIE 62 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 1 R-10.0 1 / 66 TIE 1 / 126 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66 PCGS grade

John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1994, $14,300 - Bowers & Merena 11/2001:4140, $16,100 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98480, $42,300 - Ivy Collection (PCGS Set Registry) - MS12 Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS65 PCGS grade
3 MS64 PCGS grade MS64 PCGS grade

Dick Osburn Collection - Stack's/Bowers 8/2011:7081, $6,325 - Richard Jewell Collection - Stack's/Bowers 8/2013:4180, $5,170 - Heritage 1/2014:4504, $4,700 - D.L. Hansen Collection

3 MS64 PCGS grade
3 MS64 PCGS grade