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SERIES: Flowing Hair Half Dollars 1794-1795
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1794 50C (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS64

PCGS MS61

PCGS MS61
PCGS #:
6051
Diameter:
32.50 millimeters
Designer:
Robert Scot
Weight:
13.48 grams
Edge:
Lettered: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR
Mintage:
23,464
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$763,750 • PCGS MS64 • 5-19-2015 • Stack's/Bowers
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2
2,250
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2
45+
49,000
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55+
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225,000
3
58
58+
230,000
1
58+
60
250,000
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275,000
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61
64
500,000
1
64
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 1,200 R-4.9 5 / 6 5 / 6
60 or Better 5 R-9.7 3 / 6 3 / 6
65 or Better 0 R-10.1 1 / 6 1 / 6
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade

F.C.C. Boyd Collection - Numismatic Gallery “World’s Greatest Collection” 4/1945:2, $210 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack’s 10/1985:50, $55,000 - Stack’s 10/1989:693 - RARCOA, sold privately in 3/1993 - Douglas L. Noblet Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:1, $288,500 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1095, $763,750

2 MS63 estimated grade  

Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 8/1973:1 - Queller Family Collection - Stack’s 10/2002:1, $195,500

3 MS62 estimated grade  
4 MS61 PCGS grade

Richard B. Winsor Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1895:598 - John M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/7/1997:1660, $77,000 - Dale Friend Collection

4 MS61 PCGS grade

Stack's "Empire Collection" 11/1957:1264 - John R. Gregg, Jr. Collection - Stack's 1/2004:3303, $132,250 - American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:544, $195,500 - Simpson Collection

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS64 PCGS grade

F.C.C. Boyd Collection - Numismatic Gallery “World’s Greatest Collection” 4/1945:2, $210 - Jimmy Hayes Collection - Stack’s 10/1985:50, $55,000 - Stack’s 10/1989:693 - RARCOA, sold privately in 3/1993 - Douglas L. Noblet Collection - Bowers & Merena 1/1999:1, $288,500 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack’s/Bowers & Sotheby’s 5/2015:1095, $763,750

2 MS63 estimated grade  

Reed Hawn Collection - Stack’s 8/1973:1 - Queller Family Collection - Stack’s 10/2002:1, $195,500

3 MS62 estimated grade  
4 MS61 PCGS grade

Richard B. Winsor Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 12/1895:598 - John M. Clapp Collection - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/7/1997:1660, $77,000 - Dale Friend Collection

4 MS61 PCGS grade

Stack's "Empire Collection" 11/1957:1264 - John R. Gregg, Jr. Collection - Stack's 1/2004:3303, $132,250 - American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:544, $195,500 - Simpson Collection

6 AU58+ PCGS grade

Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation - Bowers & Merena 8/2010:1004, $189,750

7 AU58 PCGS grade  

Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1662, $66,000 - American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:547, $253,000

7 AU58 PCGS grade

George H. Earle, Jr. Collection - Henry Chapman 6/1912 - Clarke E. Gilhousen Collection - Superior 10/1973:863, $10,500 - Charles L. Ruby Collection - Superior 2/1975:649 - L.W. Hoffecker Collection - Superior 2/1987:3120, $12,100 - Worrell Collection - Superior 9/1993:1260 - Stack’s 3/2007:754, $172,500 - Heritage 8/2007:1675, $204,125 - Bowers & Merena 2/2008:600 - Bowers & Merena 8/2009:1238 - Bowers & Merena 8/2010:508, $175,000 - Dr. Charles Link Collection

7 AU58 PCGS grade  

Dr. Hesselgesser - Goldbergs 2/2007:1423, $218,500

7 AU58 estimated grade  

Overton 101.  American Numismatic Rarities 8/2006:544, $195,500

Ron Guth: 1794 was the first year for of the Half Dollar denomination (for some reason, no pattern Half Dollars were made in 1792 even though the Half Dollar was a part of the official, coinage scheme).  The mintage reported for this inaugural year was only 23,464 pieces, which was less than a tenth of the following year.  Because this was a high-denomination coin, few "man-on-the-street" types ever saw this coin, assuming they even knew it existed.  Thus, very few ended being preserved for future generations.  

Of the five Mint State 1794 Half Dollars, the star is the PCGS MS64 from the D. Brent Pogue Collection that sold for $763,750 in 2015. The next best example appears to be the Reed Hawn coin that last sold as part of the Queller Family Collection in 2002 for $195,500.  That coin was called Choice Brilliant Uncirculated in 2002 and has not reappeared at auction since then.


Don Willis: Any 1794 half in XF or better is scarce. Most come damaged or in low grade. With only 3 coins in mint state and 3 in AU58 the mystique of this first year issue grows even stronger when you are holding a high grade example in your hands. There are 11 different varieties for the year. The first 7 aren't too difficult to find but the last 4 are either R7 or R8 and nearly impossible to locate. Rumor is that a large hoard of app. 200 exists on the West Coast.