1859-O Seated Half Dollar

[The following article is published courtesy of DLRC Press and its authors, Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert. This information was originally published in 1993 in The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars.]

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MINTAGE: 2,834,000



  • Authors’ Research Effort: substantial
  • Number of Die Marriages Documented: 13
  • Number of Head Dies Identified:13
  • Number of Tail Dies Identified: 12
  • Number of Collar Reed Counts Identified: 1 (140)
  • Standard Diameter or Diameter Range: 1.197 to 1.201 inches
  • Number of Major Varieties: 4
    Most marriages fall under this variety. (Breen-4890)
    A portion of the top of an errant 9 is protruding from the denticles below the prominent 9. This characteristic is plainly visible even on coins grading good but fades on late die state coins. There is also a small lump in the field to the left of the serif of the prominent 1 which is most likely a portion of another misplaced punch. …(See [15] page 283.) (Included in Breen-4891)
  • WB-103. ERRANT 9 IN ROCK. (1 HEAD DIE)
    The bottom loop of an errant 9 protrudes from the base of the rock above the prominent 9. This errant 9 is much weaker than the errant 9 listed as WB- 102. (Included in Breen-4891)
  • WB-104. RECUT 1. (1 HEAD DIE)
    The 1 is recut north with slight signs of repunching showing below the base of the prominent 1. (Breen Unlisted)


  • Most 1859-0′s come strongly struck, although some are seen with weak drapery as a result of die lapping.


  • All tail dies documented for 1859-0 are from the old Tail Hub Variety 1.
    Some 1859-0′s can be found with a small tine off the upper left serif of the 1.

About Randy Wiley & Bill Bugert

The authors of "The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars", published by DLRC Press in 1993. This groundbreaking book was the first (and still the only) to offer an in-depth analysis and die variety study on the series. The books have been long out-of-print and are published now online for open access to all collectors.
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