US Coins

Market Analysis: Overdate 1849 Seated half dime

The Seated Liberty half dime series is full of varieties both minor and major that keeps collectors busy.

The 1849/8 Seated Liberty half dime listed as FS-101 in the Cherrypickers’ Guide is visible without magnification, though references differ in identifying the underdigit below the 9 in the date; Professional Coin Grading Service identifies the variety as 1849 over 6.

The coin offered in Heritage’s May 3 Platinum Night session from the Bender Family Collection, graded Mint State 68 by PCGS, is the only example of the date to capture this grade at PCGS, which has graded none finer. Heritage remarks, “Both sides have intense, frosty mint brilliance that shines through lovely sea-green, blue, rose, violet, and gold toning.”

It sold for $16,800 on May 3, which may have surprised some, seeing that it sold at a 1993 Heritage auction, offered in the same PCGS grade, for $20,350. In that offering Heritage said that it “just sizzles with thick mint frost,” pointing out that there is no known “regular date” 1849 half dime — all examples have some sort of repunching at the date. 

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