1854 Liberty Seated Half Dollar
This Liberty Seated half dollar is a real special find. This past winter we were invited to go metal detecting at a beach here in Connecticut, and it was cold.
There were sheets of ice floating in the water, but we didn't find much. Our friend had to go take part in a New Years Parade and so he dropped us off at another beach nearby. The wind was whipping. He took one look at the beach and said, Haven't ever seen it like this before.
The sand was washed from the beach and only rocks were left. We took that as a good sign and grabbed our metal detectors. Below the rocks was a mix of red and black iron sand. Carol started detecting and this was her third signal. This is the only one we have ever found and are happy to be able to add it to this page.
History: They began minting Liberty Seated Halves in 1839 to 1892. So we're really surprised we haven't found more. Important to note that this coin was in circulation during the Civil War. The thick edge you see around the outside is called a reeded edge. The designer was Christian Gobrecht and it has a weight 13.36 grams. The composition is .900 silver and .100 copper. They were minted in Philadelphia and New Orleans.
Variety One has no motto above the eagle from 1839-1853. But some of the ones minted in 1839 have no drapery from the elbow, then they modified it to include the drapery. The varieties very between large dates and small letters through these years and you really need the book if you're looking for a specific one.
Variety Two from 1846 to 1853 has arrows at the date and rays around the eagle.
Variety Three (which is the one we found) has arrows at the date, and no rays. These were only made for two years 1854 - 1855 but it still hasn't much value.
Variety One resumed in 1856 -1866 with the original design.
Variety Four has the motto In God We Trust added above the eagle 1866 - 1873.
Variety Five has arrows at the date to denote a change in weight to 12.44 to 12.50 grams, but the composition stayed the same.
Variety Four resumed in 1875 to 1891.
So after saying all this, the most valuable half dollars are... an 1853O, 1873S, 1870CC, 1878CC, or any of them made between 1879 and 1890 are worth some bucks, probably because there were so few of them made. By the way, CC stands for Carson City.