Expert Comments

Ron Guth

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.

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
503200
Weight
12.40 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Country
The United States of America
Pop Higher
63
Pop Lower
128
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 900 R-5.2 48 / 66 TIE 78 / 126 TIE
All Grades 120 R-7.8 57 / 66 TIE 89 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 18 R-9.2 39 / 66 TIE 71 / 126 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade MS67 PCGS grade

Heritage 1/2004:5913 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection - Heritage 6/2014:30506, $22,325 - Heritage 1/2015:3138, $24,675 - “Perfection 8A” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

Stack's/Bowers 8/2013:4289 (as PCGS MS66), $23,500 (this was the single finest PCGS-certified example at the time)

2 MS66+ PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade
4 MS66 PCGS grade