U.S. Coin Price Guide

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Seated Liberty halves rise
By Mark Ferguson

Values for Seated Liberty half dollars, in all grades, are continuing their steady climb higher. With a few exceptions, this rising trend in values is gradual with no substantial jumps.

The Seated Liberty design type stretches from 1837 through 1891 and constitutes the largest design series in U.S. coins, because it encompasses six denominations from half dimes through dollars.

These days it is next to impossible to complete a collection of all the varieties and denominations of Seated Liberty coins.

Therefore, many collectors tend to specialize in one or more denominations of Seated Liberty coins. The larger denomination coins are the most popular, but the small silver half dimes and other denominations are surprisingly popular as well.

Because of the scarcity of many varieties and some regular issues of Seated Liberty half dollars and the other denominations, these collections take many years to build. This is just as true for the circulated coins as it is for the Mint State examples. Collecting Seated Liberty coins becomes a lifelong endeavor for most collectors.

Therefore, it is not surprising that demand for these coins is strong and steady. Since many people invest in what they know, many collectors of Seated Liberty coins are not necessarily stock market people. They are hard-working individuals who feel very comfortable, especially these days, with what they own – difficult-to-replace collections of Seated Liberty coins.

Some people will never complete their collections. One reason is rare coins like the 1853-O Seated Liberty, No Arrows and Rays half dollar, with large letters used for the reverse legend. Just three of these coins are known, ranging in grade from Very Good to Very Fine. We now have them valued at $200,000, $250,000 and $350,000.

Who knows what one of these coins will bring the next time one surfaces for sale? Whether its next market appearance is not for many years from now or happens in the near future, the coin should still bring a high price, even in the current economic environment. Million dollar-plus coins continue to sell. And most collectors still seem to have good money to spend.


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