1863 50C MS60 Certification #13957943, PCGS #6309
If one looks at any 1863 denomination other than Cents, it appears that the Philadelphia Mint was on vacation that year. In virtually every case, the production of any given denomination was greater in San Francisco than in Philadelphia. Clearly, the attention at Philadephia was on striking Indian Cents, which they produced to a new record number of nearly 50 million coins. At the same time, Half Dollar production at Philadelphia in 1863 was just over half that of San Francisco. Even so, the 1863 is only slightly more scarce than the 1863-S. Fewer 1863's exist in Mint State, but they tend to be nicer in overall quality and grade, presumably because they were transported shorter distances and saved by more collectors. In rare instances, the 1863 Half Dollar can be found in superb condition; the same cannot be said of the 1863-S. The strike quality of the 1863 Half Dollar is generally strong, but the increased pressures required to achieve full strikes sometimes led to die cracks.