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NumisMedia Weekly

Current News and Analysis
of the United States
Rare Coin Market

Collectors Pursuing High Grade Half Dollars

October 17, 2016

     While some of the changes in this week’s HD Wholesale Market Dealer Price Guide are from the results of recent auctions, most of the other adjustments show that the market is still adjusting downward. Dealers are discounting to move some inventory, which seems to be working as coins are selling, just at lower levels. Some of this discounting is finding its way into the higher grades, coveted by the long-time, loyal collectors.

     Barber Half Dollars are a very popular series, and even though we have reported numerous declines this week, there is still a lot of trading activity in this area. The 1893 O Barber Half has fallen to $10,850 in MS66 and the 1898 S in the same grade is now lower at $10,250. Another very tough date that has drifted lower is the 1909 S in MS67; this coin is now at $12,250, most likely the result of a population of seven for this grade. There are 23 declines in Barber Halves this week in grades MS65 and higher making for some nice discounts for the collector.

     Walking Liberty Half Dollar prices have suffered over the last couple of years, especially for the grades MS63 through MS67. Common dates have dropped to $79 in MS65, $130 in MS66, and $480 in MS67, and even some of these Market prices have seen further discounting. However, the early rarities, especially those in the higher grades, are in strong demand by collectors, and the + or CAC coin for the top rarities will typically bring strong premiums. The 1919 S in MS63 is up to $7,725 Market and the 1920 D in MS66 is now $26,250. Also on the rise is the 1921 D in MS64, now up to $14,350. Collectors should keep an eye out for Walkers dated prior to 1933, especially in the top two grades for the date.

1920 D Walking Liberty Half Dollar MS66 PCGS CAC

1920 D Walking Liberty Half Dollar MS66 PCGS CAC sold for $37,600 at the Heritage Auctions U.S. Coins Signature Sale in Dallas, Texas, October 3-5, 2016

     In the Seated Half Dollars chart, the 1841 O in MS66 has dipped to $25,250 Market; there are only two coins in this ultimate grade, one through each service; this coin was $29,750 in January 2010. The 1872 S Half is another rarity adjusting down in high grades, with just three coins certified in MS66 and just one in PCGS MS66+; the Market price has dropped to $13,850. On the upside, the 1851 Seated Half in MS67 is higher at $48,500; there is only one certified in this highest grade, a PCGS coin that recently traded hands.

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