1840 (O) 50C Reverse of 1838 Seated Liberty Half Dollar, A date without a home.

A hard to come by issue, the 1840 Medium Letters Seated Liberty Half was struck  at the New Orleans Mint without a mint mark , using an old open claws reverse die  intended & possibly used for 1839 O Capped Bust Reeded Edge Half Dollar.
The John Reich obverse & reverse designed dies & of the Capped Bust  Half had been sent to New Orleans in 1839 . The only mint marked Capped Bust  halves had the “O” mint mark on the obverses of the coins. One of the  reverse dies in New Orleans was saved for use in 1840.Back then the government  was a bit more cost conscious with the tax payers money & did not like to  waste perfectly good dies.The old-style reverse die was paired with the newly  designed but 2nd year Seated Liberty obverses. What came of this new pairing  was a new obverse that carried the mint marks on the reverse; but an older  reverse die that put the mint marks on the obverse.  Thus flip flopping where  the mint marks should have been. The result is referred to as the type  III, 1840 (O) with no mint mark. The noticeable difference is not that it  doesn’t have a mint mark since the coins minted in Philadelphia that didnt have a  mint mark . But by the size of the Eagle & letters on the reverse.Another  way to identify this type is by the reverse having multiple die breaks that are  always seen on this type & the open claws of the eagle. This unique  year has halves with the reverse of coinage like that of 1838 & is usually  referred to as the reverse of 1838 even though the coins came from 1839 dated  dies. One of my favorite varieties & always a joy to come across.

If you ever come across this variety give us a call or if you live in and around the Toledo , Ohio area stop by & see us.  We here at Bedford Coin would love to take a look at it for you & give you an appraised value. We buy & sell Gold ,Silver ,Scrap Jewelry, Rare Coins & Currency. Stop by our web store & see our new offerings on Silver Bullion & 90% “junk” coinage. We are open Monday through Friday 9 am to 6 pm & on Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. If you need a special appointment give us a call at 1-734-863-1005 . We are located just over the Michigan border in Temperance ,MI at 7400 Lewis Ave. In Bedford Square. We look forward to serving you.

If you would like to learn more contatct you local Toledo Coin Dealer or visit Wikipedia here-


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2 responses to 1840 (O) 50C Reverse of 1838 Seated Liberty Half Dollar, A date without a home.

  • Juliana says:

    i have this coin and it’s a really tiny gold coin that has a bird on one side and it says uitned states of America and underneath the bird it says twenty dollars and on the other side it has a head with stars around it and underneath the head it says 1886 this coin is very tiny and is inside a little ordinary box that has a swade holder made specially for the coin. This coin was my dad’s and i found it in his drawer years after my mom kicked em out, so how much do you think it’s worth?

  • admin says:

    I’m not sure as of the type you have . If it is tiny & says Twenty Dollars it most likely is a type of replica.US Twent dollar coins are faily large coins. Although you may want to check again & see if it reads as $2 1/2 D . If it does than it could have a value of $180 US. or more depending on condition.