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Neil S Berman
Expert Numismatist & Rare Coin Dealer

Rare Coins - Half Dollars

Half Dollars

The silver Half Dollar was authorized by Congress in 1792 but was not minted until the end of 1794. The early Half Dollars were a work horse for industry and with the Silver Dollars formed the backbone of basic commerce. The United States Mint made lots of Most of these early coins were used and all of the silver coins are collectable. Half Dollars are still minted today although I don’t see them in use in trade. There are nine basic types of United States Half Dollar coins.

Flowing Hair Half Dollar Flowing Hair Half Dollar Draped Bust Half Small Eagle Draped Bust Half Small Eagle Draped Bust Half Large Eagle Draped Bust Half Large Eagle
Flowing Hair Half Dollar
1794 - 1795
Draped Bust Half Small Eagle
1796 - 1797
Draped Bust Half Large Eagle
1801 - 1807

Flowing Hair Half Dollar 1794-1795
All Flowing Hair Half Dollars have the Small Eagle Reverse and are rare, and nice ones are very expensive. Less than three hundred thousand of them were minted in total. The 1794 is most elusive. These are collected by variety.

Draped Bust Half Small Eagle 1796-1797
With a total mintage of 3900 coins all three dates are rare and elusive.

Draped Bust Half Large Eagle 1801-1807
The Draped Bust Large Eagle or Heraldic Eagle reverse is a scarce and desirable coin. They are available from time to time and almost always well used. We buy and sell all Draped Bust Half Dollars regardless of condition.

Capped Bust 1807-1837 Capped Bust 1807-1837 Seated Half Dollar Seated Half Dollar Barber Half Dollar Barber Half Dollar
Capped Bust 1807-1837 Liberty Seated Half Dollar
1839 - 1891
Barber Half Dollar
1892 - 1915

Capped Bust 1807-1837
There are so many varieties of these coins I don’t know where to start. Most are common, but it takes an expert specialist to identify them by Overton Die variety. Capped Bust Lettered Edge 1807-1836 can come in a First style and a Second Style (remodeled portrait). Capped Bust Reed Edge 1836-1837 come with a whole new portrait and eagle than the Lettered Edge, and they come marked 50 Cents and Half Dol. We buy and sell all Capped Bust Half Dollars.

Liberty Seated Half Dollar 1839-1891
Almost a mirror of the Liberty Seated Quarters before them, there are enough types to keep any collector busy. First is the No Drapery (no motto) of 1839, followed by the No Motto Small Letters (reverse) 1839-1842. Next are the No Motto Large Letters 1842-1853, then Arrows and Rays 1853, then Arrows (at date) 1854-1855 and 1873-1874, and finally With Motto (reverse) 1866-1873 and 1875-1891.  We buy and sell any United States Liberty Seated Half Dollar.

Barber Half Dollar 1892-1915
Like the dime and quarter only larger. Also called the Liberty Head Half Dollar, these coins are as a rule common in circulated condition. We buy all silver Half Dollars.

Walker Liberty Half Dollar Walker Liberty Half Dollar Franklin Half Dollar Franklin Half Dollar Kennedy Half Dollar Kennedy Half Dollar
Walker Liberty Half Dollar
1916 - 1947
Franklin Half Dollar
1948 - 1963
Kennedy Half Dollar
1964 to Date

Walking Liberty 1916-1947
A classic and well-loved design which was reused on US Silver Eagles, they are all common when circulated after 1927. The late dates can be easily found in bags of ninety percent silver, and we buy all United States 90% silver coins.

Franklin Half Dollar 1948-1963
Franklin Half Dollars are all common and the late dates all available in uncirculated condition all the time. We buy all silver half dollars.

Kennedy Half Dollar 1964-to date
There are no rare Kennedy Half Dollars. There are three basic types. The 1964 are ninety percent Silver Half Dollars, and the 1965 through 1970 are forty percent Silver Clad Half Dollars. From 1971 they have no precious metal at all. We buy all silver half dollars and clad half dollars.

Photographs © 2013 Professional Coin Grading Service. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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