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SERIES: Liberty Seated Half Dollars 1839-1891
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1859-S 50C (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66

PCGS MS65

PCGS MS65
PCGS #:
6298
Diameter:
30.00 millimeters
Designer:
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
12.40 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
566,000
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$82,250 • PCGS MS68 • 6-28-2014 • Stack's Bowers
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 150 R-7.5 6 / 66 7 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 50 R-8.5 32 / 66 TIE 51 / 126 TIE
65 or Better 6 R-9.7 22 / 66 TIE 41 / 126 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS68 PCGS grade  

John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904 - J. M. Clapp Collection - John M. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1980 - Goldbergs 2/2002:1015, $52,900 - Stack's/Bowers 11/2012:3145, not sold - Stack's/Bowers 6/2014:1438, $82,250

1 MS68 PCGS grade  

Harlan P. Smith Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 5/1906:708, $2.80 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1981, $52,800 - Stellar Collection - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 6/2003 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98478, $47,000

3 MS66+ PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade

D.L. Hansen Collection

5 MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 3/2016:4903, $7,637.50

Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS68 PCGS grade  

John G. Mills Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 4/1904 - J. M. Clapp Collection - John M. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1980 - Goldbergs 2/2002:1015, $52,900 - Stack's/Bowers 11/2012:3145, not sold - Stack's/Bowers 6/2014:1438, $82,250

1 MS68 PCGS grade  

Harlan P. Smith Collection - S.H. & H. Chapman 5/1906:708, $2.80 - John H. Clapp Collection, sold intact in 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. Collection - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:1981, $52,800 - Stellar Collection - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 6/2003 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98478, $47,000

3 MS66+ PCGS grade  
4 MS66 PCGS grade

D.L. Hansen Collection

5 MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 3/2016:4903, $7,637.50

5 MS65 PCGS grade

Heritage 6/2016:4538, $5,405 - Heritage 7/2017:3104, $4,825.73 - D.L. Hansen Collection

5 MS65 PCGS grade  

Heritage 4/2016:3514, $8,900.63

5 MS65 PCGS grade  

Ron Guth: The 1859-S had the lowest mintage of any Half Dollar produced at any of the U.S. Mints (New Orleans produced the most Half Dollars, followed by Philadelphia, then San Francisco).  Even so, the mintage was substantial enough to make the 1859-S Half Dollar reasonably common today, but because most of the coins were dumped into circulation on the West Coast -- where they were sorely needed -- far fewer were saved by collectors in nice condition.  The most frequently-seen Mint State grade is MS64 and Gems are very rare.  However, there are two standouts, both of which were once owned by Louis Eliasberg, and both of which were subsequently graded MS68 by PCGS.