SEATED HALF DOLLAR NGC MS67 Click on Coin Image to
1880 Seated Half Dollar 50C NGC MS67 - $9,875.00
Presenting this Superb Gem
1880 Seated Half Dollar is tied for the finest known
at both NGC and PCGS. Please contact me by email
or telephone 1-800-624-1870
to reserve this great coin.
1880 Half Dollar - 1880 Seated
50C NGC MS67. This Superb Gem 1880 Seated Half Dollar
is tied for the finest known at both NGC and PCGS.
The toned piece has pretty lavender, gold, and blue
highlights with shimmering mint luster. These colors
and toning establish its originality. The surfaces
are extremely clean with no visible abrasion marks
or other distractions. The strike is bold with full
details on Liberty’s head, the centers of the
stars, and the eagle’s feathers. The dentils
are sharp and full on both sides.
Christian Gobrecht designed the Seated Liberty half
dollar. The obverse depicts Liberty seated looking
over her shoulder to the left. She balances the Union
Shield inscribed LIBERTY with her right hand and holds
a staff on which is placed a Phrygian cap in her left.
There are seven stars to the left and six to the right
interrupted by her head and the capped pole. The date
is below. The reverse shows the heraldic eagle looking
left. It is surrounded by the required inscription
and the denomination written as HALF DOL. below. Dentils
are around the periphery of both sides of the coin.
There were five varieties of the Seated Liberty half
dollar. Type 1, 1839-1853 and 1856-1866 (resumed with
weight standard of Type 2) has no motto above the eagle.
It weighed 12.44 grams. Type 2, 1853, added rays around
the eagle to indicate the change in weight to 12.44
grams. Type 3, 1854-1855, had the rays removed but arrows
added to each side of the date. The weight remained
the same. Type 4, 1866-1873 and 1875-1891 (resumed with
weight standard of Type 5) had the motto IN GOD WE TRUST
added to a banner above the eagle. The arrows at the
date were removed. Type 5, 1873-1874, had the arrows
at the date added back to show the change in weight
to 12.50 grams.
The 1880 half dollar is a Variety 4 (1875-1891) resumed
with the weight standard of the Variety 5. The coin
weighs 12.50 grams compared to prior issues of 12.44
and the earliest of 13.36.
In 1866 the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to a banner
above the eagle. The change was brought about because
of pressure by the Reverend Mark Richards Watkinson
of Ridleyville, PA. Both before and during the Civil
War almost a dozen Protestant denominations pressured
Congress to add references to God to the Constitution
and other government documents. Watkinson was the
first to write to Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase
to request that God’s name be added to our coinage.
His suggestion for a motto was “God, Liberty,
Law.” Chase ordered Mint Director James Pollock
to prepare a suitable motto. Pollock’s suggestions
included “Our Trust Is In God,” “Our
God And Our Country,” and “God Our Trust.”
Then Chase decided on “In God We Trust”
to be added to most of the nation’s coinage.
This motto was a subtle reminder that the North considered
itself on the side of God with regard to the issue
of slavery. A new law was required to allow the motto
to be added since previous acts of Congress specified
the mottos and devices that were permitted on coins.
The new motto was placed on all coins that were deemed
large enough to accommodate it.
Gobrecht was the third Chief Engraver at the United
States Mint. He was born in Hanover, Pennsylvania in
1785. His father was a German immigrant, and his mother
traced her ancestry to the early settlers of Plymouth,
Massachusetts. Gobrecht married Mary Hewes in 1818.
One of his early positions was as an engraver of clocks
in Baltimore. Later he went to Philadelphia where he
became a banknote engraver. He invented a machine that
allowed one to convert a three-dimensional medal into
an illustration. This was an excellent job and Gobrecht
was understandably reluctant to work for the Mint for
less money than he was making at the engraving firm.
In order to persuade him to leave, Mint Director Robert
Patterson prevailed upon Chief Engraver William Kneass,
who had had a stroke, to take less in salary so more
money would be available to hire Gobrecht on a permanent
basis. In 1826 Gobrecht did his first work for the Mint
as an assistant to Kneass. After Kneass’ stroke,
Gobrecht did all the die and pattern work for the Mint.
He became Chief Engraver in 1840 and served until his
death in 1844. He was famous for his Liberty Seated
motif, which was used for all denominations of silver
coinage including the half-dime, dime, quarter dollar,
half dollar and silver dollar. He also designed the
Liberty Head gold eagle, a motif that was also used
on the half-cent, the cent, the gold quarter eagle,
and the gold half eagle.
In its population report, NGC shows 7 1880 quarters
certified at the MS67 grade level with none finer.
At PCGS there is 1 with none finer. These numbers
do not account for crossovers or resubmissions.