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HomeUS Coins1846 Liberty Seated Half Dime : A Collector's Guide

1846 Liberty Seated Half Dime : A Collector’s Guide

1846 Liberty Seated Half Dime. Image: Heritage Auctions.
1846 Liberty Seated Half Dime. Image: Heritage Auctions.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..

The Philadelphia Mint deployed one set of dies to produce the entire business strike mintage of 27,000 1846 Liberty Seated Half Dimes. A second die marriage was used to strike a limited number of Proofs. Outside of the unique 1870-S Liberty Seated Half Dime, the 1846 is the key to the series. Also rare was the 1846 Liberty Seated Dime, which had a mintage of just 31,300. Interestingly, both the dime and the half dime are prohibitively rare in Mint State.

For this issue, the top shield point is positioned just to the right of the “1” on the date, and the last two digits are canted slightly downward, away from the figure’s base. The obverse die is heavily polished.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS63 (1, 5/2024), NGC MS62 (1, 5/2024), and CAC MS62 (2:0 stickered:graded, 5/2024).

  • PCGS MS63 #02419418: As PCGS MS63 #2419418. Heritage Auctions, August 2012, Lot 5074 – $38,187.50; “The Eugene H. Gardner Collection,” Heritage Auctions, June 23, 2014, Lot 30192 – $23,501.18. As PCGS MS63 #02419418. “The Bender Family Collection, Part IV,” Heritage Auctions, May 3, 2023, Lot 3056 – $43,200Bender Collection on insert. Finest known. Russet and Green toning throughout. Two dark spots in the right field under stars 9 and 10. A hint of electric blue toning above UNI.
  • PCGS MS62 CAC GOLD #14983231: S. Hudson Chapman, March 20, 1920; John Work Garrett; The Johns Hopkins University, by gift, 1942; “The John Work Garrett Collection,” Stack’s, March 1976, Lot 105; “The Stuart C. Levine, M.D. Collection,” Bowers and Merena, April 1986, Lot 2109; A.J. Vanderbilt, via Stack’s. As PCGS MS62 CAC GOLD #14983231. “The A.J. Vanderbilt Collection,” Stack’s Bowers, March 22, 2018, Lot 10084 – $48,000. There are thin scratches on the obverse right field, including one between the pole and cap and the head. Reflective disturbance in the left field above the shoulder. Myriad hairlines on the reverse. Thin scratch between H and D.
  • PCGS MS62 CAC GOLD #3457727: Joseph O’Connor, January 2004; “The Eugene H. Gardner Collection, Part II,” Heritage Auctions, October 2014, Lot 98189 – $32,900. Electric Blue centers with light green color around the periphery. Dark spots at I and E of UNITED. Dark spot above I of DIME. Orange spots scattered throughout the obverse.
  • NGC AU58 #2042999-001: “The Old Orchard Collection of Half Dimes,” Heritage Auctions, May 29, 2021, Lot 92059 – $14,400. “The Towers Collection,” Heritage Auctions, May 8, 2024, Lot 3411 – $15,000. Vintage rainbow toning.
  • PCGS AU55 #83564468: As NGC AU58. “The William H. LaBelle, Sr. Collection,” American Numismatic Rarities, July 25, 2005, Lot 914 – $7,360. There is a deep diagonal scratch in the left obverse field to the right of star 1. Brown toning throughout with lighter centers. Since this sale, the coin has been crossed to PCGS, where it has been downgraded by one grade and imaged on PCGS CoinFacts
  • PCGS AU55: Stack’s, January 12, 2009, Lot 8201 – $13,225. Steel blue toning throughout.
  • NGC AU55 #1871185-004: As “AU or Better.” Stack’s, March 16, 2005, Lot 639 – $9,200. As NGC AU55 #1871185-004. Heritage Auctions, July 30, 2008, Lot 24 – $7,705. Blue toning in the center and around the date. Russet hue throughout.
  • NGC AU55 #656320-004: Heritage Auctions, January 26, 2006, Lot 20982 – $6,325. Light centers with scattered brown and green discoloration around the periphery. JULES REIVER COLLECTION on insert.
  • PCGS AU53 #06666573: As NGC AU58 #1608722-005. Heritage Auctions, February 24, 2005, Lot 6124 – $8,625; “The Drew St. John Sale,” American Numismatic Rarities, June 23, 2005, Lot 1407 – $9,775. Peach and grey color. Since this sale, the coin has been crossed to PCGS, where it has been downgraded by two grades and imaged on PCGS CoinFacts

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Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 1846
Denomination: Half Dime (USD)
Mintmark: None (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 27,000
Alloy: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Weight: 1.34 g
Diameter: 15.90 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: Christian Gobrecht
REV Designer: Christian Gobrecht
Quality: Business Strike


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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of

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