Besides the enigmatic unique rarity from later in the series, the 1846 Liberty Seated Half Dime (Buy on eBay) is considered the key date coin of the series. The issue had a mintage of 27,000 pieces struck for circulation, along with about 20 proofs. Also of note, the New Orleans Mint did not strike half dimes in 1846, making the Philadelphia issue the only one available to date collectors.
The 1846 Half Dime is rare in all grades. The few proof coins are actually more common than the regular strikes in uncirculated condition. The major grading firms have certified only four pieces in mint state grades divided between MS-62 and MS-63. Most pieces encountered will show heavy circulation and may have been cleaned or damaged in the past.
Despite the rarity of the coins, they remain relatively affordable, mainly due to the lack of interest in collecting the series by date. Examples in about uncirculated grades come to auction infrequently, but have sold for prices in the $6,000 to $8,000 range.
- Designer: Christian Gobrecht
- Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
- Weight: 1.34 grams
- Diameter: 15.5 mm
- Edge: Reeded