Coin Values Moving with Precious Metals: Up-Dated 9/21/2020: Gold $1952 | Silver $26.77
Surprising Half Dollar Value
Half dollar value is trending upward. Any half dollar minted before 1965 is 90% silver with a minimum value of $9.02
as of 9/21/2020
. Older series are in demand because of popularity with collectors. A step by step method is used to identify important varieties, dates, and condition.
Steps Leading to Value:
- Step 1: Recognize the Different Series of Half Dollars - Beginning with Bust Half Dollars, many designs represent the denomination over the years. Identify the different series to begin.
- Step 2: Date and Mintmark Variety - Dates and mintmarks (representing different mints) each are identified and valued separately. Many original mintages of early half dollar are low, creating scarce dates.
- Step 3: Grading Condition - Condition of half dollars is key to collectors and demand. Judging condition is done with a close inspection, comparing to standards for the grade.
- Step 4: Special Qualities - With a large number of varieties and sub-varieties, many special qualities are considered.
How to determine half dollar value begins with identifying the series. Examine your coin and compare to the following images to find a match.
Note: Images within blue borders are Links to the half dollar series.
Step 1: | Recognize the Different Series of Half Dollars
Bust Half Dollars | Discover Their High Values
Early halves are highly popular; most found today are heavily worn. Compare your coins to the grading images and value charts. The older dates are worth hundreds of dollars in nice condition.
Seated Liberty Half Dollar | Majestic
This classic American half dollar requires a second look. With high minimum values and numerous rare dates. Check your coins today and compare them to value charts and then grading images to judge condition. Discover the value of your old half dollars.
Barber Half Dollar Value | On the Rise
A new age of collectors are discovering the Barber Half. Their demand is driving prices higher. In "Fine" condition each is a sought-after collectible. Your half dollar value is truly surprising. Evaluate your coins using the grading images and check the value charts.
Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value
No surprise here, the beauty of the Walking Liberty half dollar makes them one of the favorites of collectors. The right coin at auction can reach hundreds of dollars. The series is covered in detail with grading images and coin value charts.
Franklin Half Dollars Rising with Silver
Silver price forms the base value of the Franklin Half. All are heavy silver coins worth a minimum of $9.02
each. Mostly collected in Mint State condition. However, there are few rare dates to look for. Values are listed with grading images to help discover your rare coins.
Step 2: | Date Plus Variety and Mintmarks are Identified
Collectors are keen to note different dates of half dollars are either common, scarce or rare. Original mintages indicate overall a scarce date today. Early Bust halves are an example of generally low amounts coined.
Each date is valued according to availability. The early era half dollars were all minted at Philadelphia, the only mint at the time. From the first year 1794 until 1837 all half dollars are exclusive to Philadelphia.
New Orleans mint began striking halves for circulation in 1839. This added production and increased numbers per year and also created a separate collectible variety. By the mid 1850's the San Francisco added coinage, followed by Carson City in 1870, and Denver in 1906.
Each branch mint used a mintmark on its coinage to indicate production from that mint. As part of the design on the reverse an "S" is the San Francisco mintmark. "CC" Carson City and "D" is the mintmark identifying Denver.
Often two to three different mints struck half dollars per year. Each mint striking different quantities and having different levels of scarcity. Generally, a mint marked half is the scarce coin of the year.
Collecting by year and mintmark combination is an important part in building a set of half dollars. Each is listed separately on value charts.
🔎Step 1 above are image links to match your coin. Visit the series page for value charts and details on how to recognize mintmarks specific to each series.
Step 3: | Grading Condition | Half Dollar Values are Conditional
Condition of your coin is the next important factor in determining half dollar value. Levels of condition have a range depending on the amount of wear. A coin with no wear to the surface is as it left the mint. Heavy wear from time in circulation is at the low end of the condition scale. Each stage of wear is noted by a "grade". Among collectors and dealers these grades are used to define stages of wear and show on listings of value charts.
Mint State Grade: If no wear is detected on the surface of a half dollar a grade of Mint State is awarded. Mint State defines the coin remains with original surfaces without any removal of the fine texture of luster imparted at the time of minting.
Extremely Fine Grade: High points to designs on coins are the first areas to show signs of wear. Each series is unique as to the points to observe detecting amounts of wear. Overall, light wear on the highest areas and not creating large smooth spots defines the Extremely Fine grade. In the example Seated half dollar image, only small portions of Liberty's face, arms, and gown show a smoothing and change in texture.
Fine Grade: Defining the Fine grade is visible wear covering the entire coin. Loss of fine details plus large areas of flatness lowers the condition into the Fine grade range. The Barber half dollar still displays major details, leaves of the wreath and headband are distinct, keeping its condition within standards for the grade.
Good Grade: Flatness of the entire design to an outline form, places a half dollar in the Good grade. Minor detail is missing and major elements remain, but smooth. A Bust half in Good grade displays Liberty complete, with details along the rim beginning to fade. A fairly strong rim and date is visible on the example, a pleasing coin, despite heavy wear.
Judging condition to determine a grade is accomplished by comparing your coin to images of standards. Videos, close-up images and descriptions help recognize the different grades.
Video | Grading Barber Half Dollars
Video | Grading Walking Liberty Half Dollars
Video | Grading Franklin Half Dollars
🔎Above in Step 1, image and text links lead to series pages of in-depth coverage. Each series page covers grading in detail.
Step 4: | Special Qualities Enhancing Value
The Bullion/Collector Quality Divide
Quality, the condition of a coin, has always been important to collectors. Within each series, collector preference in quality is boldly evident in what is considered bullion quality and higher valued collector quality.
Bullion half dollar value is tied to silver, moving up and down with its price. Collector quality half dollars are noted with stable values, little to no movement with silver. Overtime the level of quality shifts within a series between a bullion quality half dollar and one of a quality considered as collectible.
Barber halves in Fine condition are now within the collector quality range, all are valued well above silver bullion worth. In Fine grade and higher, Barber halves show stable values trending upwards.
Walking Liberty halves are in a transitional phase, every pre 1934 half is collectible in Extremely Fine grade while many in lesser condition, move with the price of silver. Later date Walking Liberty halves, minted after 1934, are in collector range in the Mint State grade. Many of these, post 1934, halves in circulated condition trade in value based on silver. A close eye towards quality is needed to accurate value.
Franklin Halves is a series where the majority of coins, in all grades, are affected by movements in silver price. The separation of a Mint State coin from a circulated coin is the important division in the Franklin half series. Mint State coins are all collectible quality, silver forms their solid underlying base, however, does cause movements in value.
As these series age, what is considered bullion quality changes. One series of note; Walking Liberty halves is a series moving quickly towards all examples in Extremely Fine condition becoming collector quality.
All Mint State silver half dollars are collectible quality. Circulated, high grade, and eye appealing half dollars are popular with new and young collectors. They are large, silver, and affordable and worth saving.
🔎Match your coin to the image links in Step 1 and visit each series and special qualities of; how to determine in-depth half dollar values.
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