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

1878 50C (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS66+

PCGS MS64
PCGS #:
6358
Diameter:
30.00 millimeters
Designer:
Thomas Sully/Christian Gobrecht
Weight:
12.50 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
1,377,600
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$21,150 • PCGS MS66 • 6-23-2014 • Heritage Auctions
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Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 900 R-5.2 25 / 45 78 / 126 TIE
60 or Better 120 R-7.8 24 / 45 89 / 126 TIE
65 or Better 16 R-9.3 20 / 45 TIE 63 / 126 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

“Perfection 8A” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 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  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS66+ PCGS grade

“Perfection 8A” Collection (PCGS Set Registry)

2 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  
2 MS65 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 PCGS grade  
2 MS65 PCGS grade  
2 MS66 PCGS grade  

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.