Top 10 Rarest Half Dollars 2024

Top 10 Rarest Half Dollars: Half dollars, often known as 50-cent pieces, are no longer commonly utilized as currency but were utilized frequently in the past.

Although the United States Mint halted the manufacture of half dollars for widespread circulation in 2002, the coins are still occasionally produced in very limited amounts.

Due to the fact that half dollars are made of silver, many of them were melted down at various points during the history of the United States, resulting in several unique variants.

The remaining quantities of each of the half dollars on this list are extremely low, and they frequently fetch prices in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars at auction.

Even though all of these half-dollars are presently part of private collections, many people who collect coins are under the impression that there are still quite a few rare half-dollars just waiting to be discovered!

This list is current as of December 2024, and the information contained within it is as accurate as can be and will be updated as necessary.

Top 10 Rarest Half Dollars

1. 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar 16 Stars

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 40
  • Number Minted: Less than 1,000
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $822,500 (price paid at auction)

The more difficult to find of the two variations of the 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar that were struck that year is the variant with 16 Stars.

About forty examples of the 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollars with 16 Stars have survived in any condition, although no one knows the precise number of coins that were struck during that year

There are only three of these coins that have been evaluated as being in mint condition, and the sample that was considered to be the best one sold at auction for $822,500.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
The Draped Bust Half Dollar with 16 Stars was issued in 1796, marking a significant turning point in the history of the United States. At the time, there were too many states to continue symbolizing each of them with an obverse star.

2. 1817 Capped Bust Half Dollar Overdate

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 11
  • Number Minted: Unknown
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $356,600 (price paid at auction)

One of the most well-known coins from the Capped Bust half dollar series is 1817 Capped Bust Half Dollar with Overdate mistake.

This coin bears the date 1817. It is very obvious from looking at the coin that a previous die was recycled in order to make the new coin, which was standard practice at the time.

A portion of the date from an older die had to be shaved off, and the seven had to be punched; nonetheless, certain parts of the four are still discernible in the finished product. 11 of these Overdate half dollars have been found so far, but there are no records that indicate how many were coined in total.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
Because four of these coins have been found since 2005, with the most recent one turning up in late 2013 or early 2014, coin collectors feel that there are more 1817 Capped Bust Half Dollars with the visible Overdate out there. The most recent one was found in late 2013 or early 2014.

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3. 1839 Capped Bust Half Dollar Small Letters Reverse

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 10
  • Number Minted: Unknown
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $488,593

1839 Capped Bust Half Dollar with Small Letters on the Reverse is the rarest of all Reeded Edge Half Dollars, with the exception of a few select proof issues. This coin features a bald head portrait of Liberty with small letters on the reverse.

The inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “HALF DOL.” are more diminutive on this coin than they are on other Capped Bust Half Dollars from the same era, as the name of the coin suggests.

The Capped Bust die was used for the final time in 1839, the year before it was finally retired in favor of the Seated Liberty die.

There are no official records that indicate how many of these coins were struck, however, there have only been roughly 10 that have been found so far.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
Maurice Rosen, a numismatist from New York, did not uncover the existence of the extremely rare 1839 Capped Bust Half Dollars with Small Letters on the Reverse until the year 1972.

4. 1838 O Capped Bust Half Dollar Proof

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 6
  • Number Minted: Less than 20
  • Mint: New Orleans
  • Current Value: $763,750 (price paid at auction)

It is widely acknowledged that the 1838 O Capped Bust Half Dollar Proof is among the rarest United States coins of any denomination.

These coins were struck shortly after the New Orleans Mint first opened its doors, but sadly, official records do not exist to indicate the total number of Capped Bust Half Dollar Proofs that were actually made. It is estimated that less than twenty were produced, and there are only six of them left now.

The fact that two pairs of 1838-dated half-dollar dies were mailed from the Philadelphia Mint in April and received in New Orleans by May 3, 1838, was mentioned in the report. These dies were for the dollar denomination.

The New Orleans Mint experienced a number of difficulties that year, including equipment failures, which are believed to have been caused by an inadequate record-keeping system at the mint.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
It is thought that the 1838 O Capped Bust Half Dollar Proof was the first proof coin created at any branch mint outside of the main United States Mint in Philadelphia. The piece was struck in the year 1838.

5. 1827 Capped Bust Half Dollar Proof

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 5
  • Number Minted: Less than 8
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $258,500 (price paid at auction)

At the beginning of the 19th century, proof coins were only produced when collectors specifically asked for them.

Since there were not a lot of people interested in collecting American coins during this time period, any proofs from this time period that have been preserved are extremely uncommon and expensive.

The 1827 Capped Bust Half Dollar Proofs are a good example of this phenomenon. Only eight of these coins were ever struck, but we’ve only been able to locate five of them.

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Did It Cross Your Mind?
The highest grade that has ever been given to a Proof Capped Bust half dollar of any era was awarded to the coin that was sold for $258,500 and considered to be the greatest example of an 1827 Capped Bust Half Dollar Proof.

6. 1839 Seated Liberty Proof with No Drapery

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 5
  • Number Minted: Less than 6
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $241,500 (price paid at auction)

Proof coins, especially older ones from the early 19th century, are quite difficult to find. This requirement is adhered to by the 1839 Seated Liberty Proof with No Drapery coin, of which there are only three known examples in existence.

t is believed that five of these proof coins were struck, and there have been a total of five that have been found so far.

In contrast to the standard 1839 Seated Liberty Half Dollars, which feature an additional piece of drapery draped over Lady Liberty’s left arm, these original proofs of the coin do not include that element of the design.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
The base of the HALF DOL. under the eagle on genuine 1839 Seated Liberty Proofs with No Drapery will have a very fine fracture running through it.

7. 1853 O Seated Liberty with No Arrows/No Rays

Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 4
  • Number Minted: Less than Unknown
  • Mint: New Orleans
  • Current Value: $517,000

Within the series of Seated Liberty half dollars, the 1853 O Seated Liberty with No Arrows/No Rays coin is among the most difficult to find. In spite of the fact that just four of these Seated Liberty coins without the arrows were ever found, no one can say for certain how many of them were struck in New Orleans.

The year 1853 was a transitional year for the Seated Liberty half dollar, which is one of the reasons why these pieces are so rare.

The variants without arrows were struck by the mint at the beginning of the year before the new dies from Philadelphia featuring arrows arrived. The arrows were included to indicate that the silver content of the half dollar was lesser than that of the full dollar.

It is generally accepted that the majority of the Seated Liberty half dollars that were produced earlier in the year were melted down due to the significant amount of silver that they contained.
Did It Cross Your Mind?
Because the Act of February 21, 1853, rendered such coins obsolete, it is likely that the New Orleans Mint did not disclose the total quantity of 1853 O Seated Liberty with No Arrows/No Rays half dollars that it produced.

8. 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar 15 Stars Specimen

Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 1
  • Number Minted: 1
  • Mint: New Orleans
  • Current Value: $587,500

This 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar Specimen with 15 Stars was especially struck, and there was only ever one coin produced, which is still in existence today.

After 224 years, the extremely rare Specimen coin, which has been treasured by its previous owners, is still in flawless shape.

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The coin was the first specimen of the Draped Bust Half Dollar with 15 Stars to ever be recognized by PCGS as a uniquely produced piece. It fetched a price of $587,500 at auction and is the only known exemplar of the coin type.

It is believed that the currency was particularly produced for presentation or for another event that was not intended for general circulation.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
Even the lint lines from the towel that was used to wipe down the dies just before the coin was struck are visible on the 1796 Draped Bust Half Dollar with 15 Stars Specimen because the coin was created with such meticulous care.

9. 1866 Seated Liberty Proof with No Motto/No Arrows

Rarest Half Dollars
Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: 1
  • Number Minted: 1
  • Mint: Philadelphia
  • Current Value: $1,164,086 (price paid at auction)

The 1866 Seated Liberty Proof with No Motto or Arrows is a half-dollar that is both exceptionally rare and one of a kind.

There was only ever one of these proof coins struck, and it has been carefully preserved over the years.

The inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST” is not present atop the eagle in the proof version of the 1866 Seated Liberty Dollar.

After that, the slogan was added to all of the half dollars that were produced that year. Only three times in the past 154 years has the extremely rare half-dollar has been offered for sale at auction; the most recent price it brought was $1,164,086.

 

Did It Cross Your Mind?
The 1866 Seated Liberty Proof with No Motto/Arrows is part of a collection that also includes two Seated Liberty Dollar Coins without the motto. Both of these coins are valued at more than $1 million on their own.

10. 1873 S Seated Liberty No Arrows

Rarest Half Dollars
  • Estimated Number in Existence: None
  • Number Minted: 5,000
  • Mint: San Francisco
  • Current Value: N/A, but most likely well over $1 Million

The 1873 S Seated Liberty Half Dollar with No Arrows is the rarest half dollar ever made due to the fact that none are known to exist in any collection at this time, despite the fact that the coin was struck 5,000 times.

It is thought that all of the Seated Liberty Half Dollars were melted down before ever leaving the San Francisco Mint since the Mint Act was passed on February 12, 1873, which marked the end of the silver half dime.

This event signaled the end of the circulation of the silver half dime. Coin collectors who are passionate about their hobby hold out hope that one of these rare half-dollars may have gotten away.

In the event that an 1837-S Seated Liberty Half Dollar with No Arrows is ever discovered, its value will most certainly exceed one million dollars.

Did It Cross Your Mind?
In addition to the 1873 S Seated Liberty Half Dollars with No Arrows that have never been found, the 700 1873 S Seated Liberty Silver Dollars that have also never been seen are one of the remaining major mysteries in the field of numismatics. These silver dollars are known through Mint records but have never been seen.

Top 10 Rarest Half Dollars – Newshub360.net



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