US Coins

Seated Liberty half dollar error brings more than $50,000 in online auction

An advanced collector of United States coins paid $51,754.50 with buyer’s premium to acquire a Seated Liberty wrong planchet error in a Sept. 29 online auction by GreatCollections.

The error, graded About Uncirculated 50 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp., is a circa 1871 to 1875 Seated Liberty half dollar struck at the San Francisco Mint on a planchet intended for a Seated Liberty quarter dollar.

The price realized includes a 12.5 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing bid of $46,004. Thirteen unique bidders participated, among the 100 unique bidders tracking the sale, according to GreatCollections President Ian Russell.

The unidentified winning buyer didn’t enter the bidding until the final two minutes and had to up the bid in the final minute after being outbid by another bidder.

The error coin was posted Aug. 23 with an opening bid of $5,000.

Because of the smaller diameter of the quarter dollar planchet, several design elements from the half dollar dies, including the date, do not appear on the struck coin.

The diameter of a Seated Liberty half dollar is 30.61 millimeters, while that for a normal quarter dollar is 24.26.

The error weighs 6.2 grams, within the tolerance for the quarter dollar. The coin was consigned for auction by Doryce Wheeler, who said the coin was found Feb. 16 among other coins in one of two suitcases discovered from the estate of her mother-in-law who passed away eight years ago.

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