Half Dollar error sells for over $50,000


01 October 2019
An 1871-75 Half Dollar mistakenly struck on a quarter planchet, realised $51,754 (approximately £41,955) in the recent sale at US coin company GreatCollections.

The error coin, which has been certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) was erroneously struck on a smaller planchet intended for a quarter and is believed to be unique for the Seated Liberty Half Dollar series.

A spokesperson for NGC said:

'The coin, struck in the 1870s, was recently discovered in a collection that had been held by the Wheeler Family of New Jersey for decades. After the current owner inherited the collection, they were unsure of its authenticity and decided to submit it to NGC for certification. NGC graded the coin NGC Mint Error AU 50 and pedigreed it to the Wheeler Family.

The coin was sold on 29 September 2019, through GreatCollections, with the winning bidder said to be 'an advanced collector of US coins'.

Ian Russell, president of GreatCollections said:

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'I have never handled a more interesting error coin. NGC’s certification gave our bidders greater confidence, which resulted in a very strong price for this impressive rarity.'

At the time this coin was struck, the same Seated Liberty design was used on half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars and dollars. In this case, a 24.3mm quarter planchet was mistakenly used in the half dollar minting process instead of the usual 30.6mm half dollar planchet. The extreme rarity of this coin indicates that such errors virtually never occurred.

Mark Salzberg, NGC Chairman and Grading Finalizer said:

'The price realized by this coin affirms its place among the most significant mint errors. As a coin grader, my most exciting days are the ones when new rarities such as this are discovered.'

Although the date of the coin is missing because it could not fit on the smaller quarter planchet, NGC was able to identify the date range as 1871-75 because of the size and shape of the 'S' mintmark that appears on the reverse. The 'S' mintmark indicated that this coin was struck at the legendary San Francisco Mint.

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