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SERIES: Barber Half Dollars 1892-1915
LEVEL: Year, MintMark, & Major Variety

1896-S 50C (Regular Strike)

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PCGS MS67

PCGS MS66

PCGS MS65+
PCGS #:
6476
Diameter:
30.00 millimeters
Designer:
Charles E. Barber
Weight:
12.50 grams
Edge:
Reeded
Mintage:
1,140,948
Metal Content:
90% Silver, 10% Copper
Auction Record:
$54,625 • PCGS MS67 • 8-11-2010 • Heritage
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67
Rarity and Survival Estimates (Explain)
Grades Survival
Estimate 
Numismatic
Rarity 
Relative Rarity
By Type 
Relative Rarity
By Series 
All Grades 2,000 R-4.6 19 / 74 TIE 19 / 74 TIE
60 or Better 200 R-7.0 12 / 74 TIE 12 / 74 TIE
65 or Better 40 R-8.7 16 / 74 TIE 16 / 74 TIE
Condition Census (Explain) Show more rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Dale Friend, sold privately on 9/25/2002 - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Barber Half Dollar Collection - Heritage 8/2010:3187, $54,625 - “Perfection 9” Collection

2 MS66 PCGS grade

Heritage 7/2004:6546 - Heritage 2/2005:7133 - Heritage 1/2008:2894 - Greensboro Collection, Part VI - Heritage 10/2015:3281, $11,456.25

2 MS66 PCGS grade  

Purchased directly from the San Francisco Mint in August 1896 by J. M. Clapp - John H. Clapp - Clapp Estate, 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:2078, $8,250 - John C. Hugon - Heritage 1/2005:4213, $13,800 - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 6/2005 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98519, $23,500

2 MS66 PCGS grade  

David Lawrence, sold privately in 10/2012 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part II - Heritage 10/2014:98548 - Stack's/Bowers 7/2015:4413, $14,100 - Stack's/Bowers 11/2015:20066, $11,162.50

2 MS66 PCGS grade  
Condition Census (Explain) Show fewer rows
Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 MS67 PCGS grade

Dale Friend, sold privately on 9/25/2002 - Dr. & Mrs. Steven L. Duckor Barber Half Dollar Collection - Heritage 8/2010:3187, $54,625 - “Perfection 9” Collection

2 MS66 PCGS grade

Heritage 7/2004:6546 - Heritage 2/2005:7133 - Heritage 1/2008:2894 - Greensboro Collection, Part VI - Heritage 10/2015:3281, $11,456.25

2 MS66 PCGS grade  

Purchased directly from the San Francisco Mint in August 1896 by J. M. Clapp - John H. Clapp - Clapp Estate, 1942 - Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. - Bowers & Merena 4/1997:2078, $8,250 - John C. Hugon - Heritage 1/2005:4213, $13,800 - Joseph O'Connor, sold privately in 6/2005 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part III - Heritage 5/2015:98519, $23,500

2 MS66 PCGS grade  

David Lawrence, sold privately in 10/2012 - Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part II - Heritage 10/2014:98548 - Stack's/Bowers 7/2015:4413, $14,100 - Stack's/Bowers 11/2015:20066, $11,162.50

2 MS66 PCGS grade  
6 MS65+ PCGS grade
7 MS65 PCGS grade

James Pryor - Harry Laibstain - Dr. Peter Shireman

7 MS65 PCGS grade
7 MS65 PCGS grade  

Heritage 2/2007:3546, $9,200

7 MS65 PCGS grade  

Dr. Thaine Price - David Akers 5/1998:138 - Dr. Steven Duckor - Dale Friend - Heritage 1/2009:3876, $7,475

Ron Guth: The 1896-S Half Dollar is considered a scarcer date, especially at the Mint State level.  This assertion is borne out by the PCGS Population Report, which shows the profile of the Mint State 1896-S to be very close to that of the 1897-O and the 1898-O (all three dates have similar populations in the range of grades from MS63 to MS66, and each is extremely rare in MS67 or better -- in fact, the 1896-S in MS67 is known by only one MS67 example and none better).  

The strike on the 1896-S Half Dollar is usually quite strong.  Luster ranges from hard and brilliant to soft and frosty.  Most of the top-end examples are toned to some degree and have great eye appeal.  

The best 1896-S Half Dollar is the afore-mentioned PCGS MS67 -- a lightly toned Gem formerly of the Dale Friend and Dr. Steve Duckor Collections.  In 2010, that coin set a record price for an 1896-S Half Dollar of $54,625.


David Akers: Although not quite as rare as the 1896-O..., the 1896-S is, nevertheless, one of the most desirable and rarest issues in the series. Even in the circulated grades, this issue is a relatively valuable one, at least in comparison to other Barber Half issues, and in all mint state grades it is rare. At the Very Choice and Gem Uncirculated grade levels, the 1896-S is very rare and almost never available except when great collections like the Dr. Thaine B. Price Collection are sold...