1861 Half Dollar (1861 50C) Seated, NGC AU53 CAC. Civil War Date. This Civil War dated 1861 Half Dollar Seated shows attractive light toning on the devices of both sides with contrasting fields. The coin is silver-grey with touches of brown, yellow, and blue. The reverse, which is slightly more toned than the obverse, also has blue-green toning in the fields. Except for a few small marks on Liberty’s left arm and in the obverse field, the surfaces are clean. There is light wear on the highest points of the coin in keeping with the AU53 grade that is confirmed with the CAC sticker.
The Liberty Seated half dollar was originally designed by Christian Gobrecht and was first minted in 1839. It shows a seated figure of Liberty looking over her shoulder to the left. In her left hand she holds a pole with a Phrygian cap on it. In her other hand she balances a Union shield that is inscribed LIBERTY. She is surrounded by thirteen stars above with the date below. The reverse shows a heraldic eagle holding arrows and olive branches in its talons facing left with wings lowered. The inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is above and the denomination HALF DOL. is below.
Since the 1861 half is a Variety 1 Resumed with the weight standard of 1853, the arrows at the date of the previous variety have been removed to show this change in weight.
As of 5/7/2011 this is the only specimen of the 1861 Half Dollar that's been approved by CAC in AU-53. There are in fact only 18 coins in all grades that have thus far qualified for a CAC sticker of approval.
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