Owner's Comments

Wimpy First 8

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

The 1878 Half Dollar has a slightly smaller mintage than many of its contemporaries yet it is still considered a "type" coin that garners no premium for additional scarcity.  To my mind, that makes this date a good value compared to coins with larger mintages.  This is not the last year of the design type, but it is the last year before mintages dropped off precipitously for the remainder of the series.  Scores of Mint State examples exist, but they tend to be mid-range (MS63 or thereabouts).  Gems are very scarce and any 1878 Half Dollar in MS66 is a condition-rarity.

The strike quality on this date is usually quite strong.  Luster ranges from brilliant to frosty.  This date is not known for being "baggy" but try to find coins that have nice surfaces.

30.00 millimeters
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
12.50 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
The United States of America
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Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

65 or Better 900 R-5.2 25 / 45 78 / 126 TIE
All Grades 120 R-7.8 24 / 45 89 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 16 R-9.3 20 / 45 TIE 63 / 126 TIE

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade MS66+ PCGS grade

“Perfection 8A” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 MS66 PCGS grade MS66 PCGS grade

Jason Carter, sold privately in 5/2009 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part I - Heritage 6/2014:30519, $21,150 - Heritage 3/2017:4060, $12,925

2 MS66 PCGS grade

American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:641, $6,210

2 MS66 PCGS grade
2 MS65 PCGS grade