1840 (O) 50C Reverse of 1838 VF35 Certification #03701304, PCGS #6233

Owner's Comments

Original Old Brown Tone, PQ+

Expert Comments

Ron Guth

This is a very interesting variety that pairs an 1840 Seated Liberty obverse with a reverse die that was used to strike a Capped Bust Half Dollar!  Though this is quite unusual in itself, comparison with 1839 Capped Bust Half Dollars revealed that the reverse came not from a Philadelphia Mint coin, but from one minted at New Orleans!  This can be explained by the fact that, in 1838 and 1839, the "O" mintmark was placed on the the obverse of the Half Dollar, not the reverse.  So, it seems that the New Orleans Mint was practicing a little economy back in 1840, when it reused an old die from 1839 to strike 1840 Half Dollars.  This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do and was not without precedent...it is just that dated obverses are a lot easier to tell than a reverse without a mintmark.  Thankfully, research into die varieties on American coins has progressed far enough to make such a determination.

Diameter
30.00 millimeters
Designer
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Edge
Reeded
Mintage
112000
Weight
13.36 grams
Metal Content
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Region
The United States of America
Pop Higher
60
Pop Lower
39
Price Guide
PCGS Population
Auctions - PCGS Graded
Auctions - NGC Graded

Rarity and Survival Estimates

Grades
65 or Better 400 R-6.2 10 / 66 TIE 21 / 126 TIE
All Grades 10 R-9.5 10 / 66 TIE 15 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 66 1 / 126

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade
1 MS64 PCGS grade
1 MS64 estimated grade
4 MS63 PCGS grade
4 MS63 estimated grade