The 1878-S Seated Liberty Half Dollar (Buy on eBay) had a mintage of merely 12,000 pieces. Although this was not the lowest mintage of the series, extensive circulation took its toll and it is believed that only 50-60 examples survive across all grades. Among this number, a surprisingly high proportion have survived in uncirculated grades.
This issue also represents the last branch mint issue to be produced for the series, together with the Carson City Mint issue of the same year. At this time, production had shifted to the Morgan Dollar, which was legally required to be minted in large numbers. Through the conclusion of the series, half dollar production at the Philadelphia Mint dropped to extremely low levels with fewer than 5,000 coins minted in some years. These low mintage coins were all hoarded and remain readily available for collectors.
- Designer: Christian Gobrecht
- Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
- Weight: 12.50 grams
- Diameter: 30.6 mm
- Edge: Reeded