US Coins

Market Analysis: Great values in 19th century Proof coins

Classic 19th century Proof coins can offer great value in today’s marketplace, as seen by this 1880 Seated Liberty half dollar graded Proof 66 Cameo by Professional Coin Grading Service that sold for $2,400 at Heritage’s April Central States Numismatic Society auctions.

Half dollars weren’t much in demand in the 1880s as the Bureau of the Mint focused its attention on Morgan dollars. The Philadelphia Mint produced relatively few half dollars between 1879 and 1891, though Proof pieces maintained typical mintage levels. In 1880, 8,400 half dollars were struck for circulation, joined by 1,355 Proof examples. 

This one graded Proof 66 Cameo by PCGS has spectacular eye appeal. Heritage observed, “The devices are fully struck and frosty, set against deeply reflective fields that glimmer with sun-gold, violet, and blue toning.” A Cameo designation means that both the obverse and reverse show devices that are frosted and contrast with the reflective fields. 

Considering that another 1880 Seated Liberty half dollar, graded PCGS Proof 65 Cameo, sold for $2,640 at Heritage’s January Florida United Numismatists auction, a lucky bidder got a wonderful bargain on this pretty half dollar in Schaumburg, Illinois.  

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