US Silver Half Dollars 1807-1947

This page describes all types of the US Silver Half Dollars minted from 1807 through 1947, and includes their specifics, mintage records, key dates, coin values (in AG-3, or G-4, and EF-40 conditions) and images of a few types (not all) that were recovered at various locations in the North-East USA.

CAPPED BUST TYPE, Lettered Edge, 1807 - 1836

John Reich designed this capped head concept of Liberty. The ehad of Liberty facing left was used on all U.S. silver coin denominations for the next 30 years. John Reich, a German immigrant, became an engraver for the mint after having been freed from a bond of servitude by a mint official.


VARIETY 1 - First Style, 1807-1808

Half Dollar Capped Bust

Portrait and Eagle were remodeled in 1809. The new edge was adopted in 1830. Portrait was slightly modified in 1834, this design continued until 1836.

New mint equipment was used to make the small date 1828 dimes and subsequent issues. Unlike earlier coinage, these have beaded borders and a uniform diameter. Large date has curl base knob 2; small date has square base knob 2.

Specifics:

Diameter: 32.5 mm
Weight: 13.48 grams
Edge: 1807-1814: FIFTY CENTS OR HALF A DOLLAR; 1814-1831: star added between DOLLAR and FIFTY; 1832-1836: vertical lines added between words.
Composition: .8924 silver, .1076 copper
Quantity minted: 82,339,124
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: John Reich

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1807 Small stars; G-4: $60.00, EF-40: $725.00
• 1807 Large stars; G-4: $55.00, EF-40: $625.00
• 1807 "Bearded" Liberty; G-4: $360.00, EF-40: $2,550
• 1812, 2 over 1, large 8; G-4: $1,325, EF-40: $10,000
• 1812 Single leaf below wing; G-4: $685.00, EF-40: $3,550
• 1813 50C over UNI; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $255.00
• 1814, 4 over 3; G-4: $50.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1814 E over A in STATES; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $250.00
• 1814 Single leaf below wing; G-4: $50.00, EF-40: $450.00
• 1815, 5 over 2; G-4: $675.00, EF-40: $2,700
• 1817, 7 over 3; G-4: $80.00, EF-40: $725.00
• 1817, 7 over 4; Very Rare VF-20: $110,000
• 1817 Single leaf below wing; G-4: $45.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1820, 20 over 19, square 2; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $255.00
• 1820, 20 over 19, curl 2; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $255.00
• 1820 Square base knob 2, large date; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $180.00
• 1820 No serifs on E's; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $625.00
• 1822, 2 over 1; G-4: $50.00, EF-40: $225.00
• 1823 Broken 3; G-4: $45.00, EF-40: $250.00
• 1823 Patched 3; G-4: $42.00, EF-40: $210.00
• 1828 Curl base, knob 2; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $140.00
• 1830 Large letters; G-4: $1,000, EF-40: $4,550
• 1836 over 1336; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1836 50 over 00; G-4: $42.00, EF-40: $180.00
• 1836 Beaded border on reverse; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $185.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $40.00, EF-40 - $115.00


VARIETY 2 - Reeded Edge, Reverse "50 CENTS" 1836-1837

VARIETY 3 - Reeded Edge, Reverse "HALF DOL. " 1838-1839

In 1838-39 the mint mark appears on the obverse; later, through 1915, all mint marks are placed on the reverse. The 1838o was the first branch mint half dollar, though not mentioned in the Director's report. The New orleans chief coiner stated that only 20 half dollars were struck.

Specifics:

Diameter: 30 mm
Weight: 13.36 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 8,748,992
Mint: Philadelphia
Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1836; G-4: $630.00, EF-40: $1,850
• 1837; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1838o; MS-60: $75,000
• 1839 Small letters reverse: n/a
• 1839o; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $675.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $35.00, EF-40 - $190.00

LIBERTY SEATED TYPE 1839-1891

VARIETY 1 - No Motto Above Eagle, 1839-1853

1839-1841: modified obverse, drapery from elbow, small letters in legend.
1842-1853: modified reverse with large letters in legend.

Specifics:

Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 13.36 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 39,389,152
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans
Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1840 Medium letters*; G-4: $115.00, EF-40: $600.00
• 1841; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $245.00
• 1842 Small date, small letters: n/a
• 1842o Small date, small letters; G-4: $525.00, EF-40: $3,800
• 1842 Small date; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1844o Double date; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $2,200
• 1845; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1845o No drapery**; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $225.00
• 1846 over horizontal 6 (error); G-4: $115.00, EF-40: $550.00
• 1846o Tall date; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $950.00
• 1847, 7 over 6; G-4: $1,625, EF-40: $5,550
• 1848; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $180.00
• 1850; G-4: $155.00, EF-40: $575.00
• 1851; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $725.00
• 1852; G-4: $280.00, EF-40: $950.00
• 1852o; G-4: $50.00, EF-40: $390.00
• 1853o; VG-8: $110,000, VF-20: $225,000
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $19.00, EF-40 - $85.00
*Struck at the New Orleans Mint from a reverse die of the previous style without mint mark.
**Drapery missing because of excessive die polishing.


VARIETY 2 - Arrows at Date, Rays Around Eagle, 1853 Only

Half Dollar Seated Liberty Variety 2

VARIETY 3 - Arrows at Date, No Rays, 1854-1855

VARIETY 1 Design Resumed, 1856-1866
The 1861o mintage quantity includes 330,000 struck under the US government, 1,240,000 for the state of Louisiana after it seceded from the Union, and 962,633 after Louisiana joined the Confederate states of America. As all these 1861o coins were struck from US dies, it is impossible to distinguish one from another. They should not be confused with the very rare Confederate half dollar of 1861 which has a distinctive reverse.


VARIETY 4 - "In God We Trust" Above Eagle, 1866-1873

Specifics:

Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.44 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 68,604,598
Mints: Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City
Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1855 over 1854; VG-8: $55.00, EF-40: $380.00
• 1855S; G-4: $325.00, EF-40: $2,800
• 1856S; G-4: $35.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1857S; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $375.00
• 1858S; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $145.00
• 1859S; G-4: $24.00, EF-40: $140.00
• 1862; G-4: $24.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1864; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $115.00
• 1866S No motto; G-4: $65.00, EF-40: $565.00
• 1867; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1868; G-4: $28.00, EF-40: $180.00
• 1869; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $110.00
• 1870CC; G-4: $455.00, EF-40: $6,100
• 1871CC; G-4: $115.00, EF-40: $1,100
• 1872CC; G-4: $55.00, EF-40: $575.00
• 1872S; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1873 Closed 3; G-4: $21.00, EF-40: $120.00
• 1873 Open 3; EF-40: $5,000
• 1873CC; G-4: $100.00, EF-40: $1,100
• 1873S No arrows: Unknown in any collection
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $18.00, EF-40 - $85.00


VARIETY 5 - Arrows at Date, 1873-1874

Arrows were placed at the date to denote a change in weight from 12.44 to 12.50 grams.

VARIETY 4 Resumed, 1875-1891

Specifics:

Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.50 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 47,045,524
Mints: Philadelphia, Carson City, San Francisco
Designer: Christian Gobrecht

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1873CC Variety 5; G-4: $80.00, EF-40: $1,250
• 1873S; G-4: $40.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1874CC; G-4: $180.00, EF-40: $1,450
• 1875CC; G-4: $20.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1877, 7 over 6; F-12: $325.00, EF-40: $950.00
• 1878CC; G-4: $225.00, EF-40: $1,365
• 1878S; G-4: $5,550, EF-40: $17,000
• 1879; G-4: $140.00, EF-40: $380.00
• 1880; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1881; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1882; G-4: $135.00, EF-40: $380.00
• 1883; G-4: $150.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1884; G-4: $140.00, EF-40: $380.00
• 1885; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1886; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $360.00
• 1887; G-4: $130.00, EF-40: $425.00
• 1888; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1889; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $325.00
• 1890; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $325.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $18.00, EF-40 - $65.00

BARBER HALF DOLLAR or Liberty Head Type 1892-1915

Like the dime and quarter dollar, this type was designed by Charles E. Barber, whose initial B is at the truncation of the neck. Mint mark is located on the obverse below eagle.

Half Dollar Barber Liberty Head

Specifics:

Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.50 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 135,916,202
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, New Orleans, San Francisco
Designer: Charles E. Barber

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1892o; G-4: $125.00, EF-40: $450.00
• 1892o Microscopic O; G-4: $425.0, EF-40: $3,100
• 1892S; G-4: $120.00, EF-40: $385.00
• 1893o; G-4: $20.00, EF-40: $275.00
• 1893S; G-4: $85.00, EF-40: $385.00
• 1894o; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $260.00
• 1895o; G-4: $15.00, EF-40: $235.00
• 1895S; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $260.00
• 1896o; G-4: $20.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1896S; G-4: $60.00, EF-40: $365.00
• 1897o; G-4: $60.00, EF-40: $765.00
• 1897S; G-4: $100.00, EF-40: $655.00
• 1898o; G-4: $16.00, EF-40: $355.00
• 1900o; G-4: $9.00, EF-40: $240.00
• 1901o; G-4: $10.00, EF-40: $300.00
• 1901S; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $550.00
• 1902S; G-4: $9.00, EF-40: $225.00
• 1903S; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $215.00
• 1904o; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $290.00
• 1904S; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $655.00
• 1905; G-4: $11.00, EF-40: $230.00
• 1905o; G-4: $12.00, EF-40: $240.00
• 1907S; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $310.00
• 1909o; G-4: $10.00, EF-40: $230.00
• 1910; G-4: $9.00, EF-40: $255.00
• 1913; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1914; G-4: $30.00, EF-40: $485.00
• 1915; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $355.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $8.00, EF-40 - $155.00

In 1859, a "transitional" dime pattern without nation's identity was made, not for circulation, but at the time the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA was being transferred from the reverse to the obverse.

Dies were modified slightly during 1861. First variety with only five vertical lines in top of shield is scarcer than the later variety

LIBERTY WALKING TYPE 1916-1947

This type was designed by A.A. Weinman whose monogram AAW appears under the tip of the wing feathers.

Half Dollar Walking Liberty

On the 1916 coins and some of the 1917 coins the mint mark is located on the obverse below the motto. On half dollars of the later dates, the mint mark is located as shown below.

One of Two Mint Mark Locations on Half Dollars

One of Two Mint Mark locations on Walking Liberty Half Dollars

Specifics:

Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.50 grams
Edge: Reeded
Composition: .900 silver, .100 copper
Quantity minted: 485,395,040
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Designer: Adolph A. Weinman

Key-Dates and Coin Values:

• 1916; G-4: $25.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1916D; G-4: $20.00, EF-40: $130.00
• 1916S; G-4: $75.00, EF-40: $525.00
• 1917D (Obverse); G-4: $15.00, EF-40: $140.00
• 1917D (Reverse); G-4: $10.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1917S (Obverse); G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $625.00
• 1918; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $135.00
• 1918D; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1919; G-4: $18.00, EF-40: $425.00
• 1919D; G-4: $15.00, EF-40: $525.00
• 1919S; G-4: $15.00, EF-40: $625.00
• 1920D; G-4: $10.00, EF-40: $350.00
• 1920S; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $155.00
• 1921; G-4: $95.00, EF-40: $1,450
• 1921S; G-4: $22.00, EF-40: $4,300
• 1923S; G-4: $10.00, EF-40: $195.00
• 1928S*; G-4: $8.00, EF-40: $110.00
• 1938D; G-4: $20.00, EF-40: $115.00
• 1946 Double die reverse; F-12: $12.00, EF-40: $55.00
Average coin values of other dates: G-4 - $8.00, EF-40 - $45.00
*Pieces dated 1928D are counterfeit.


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(Sources: Encyclopedia Of U.S. Coins by Mort Reed and The Official Red Book of United States Coins by R.S. Yeoman.)