You never know what you’ll get when you sort a roll of coins. One lucky man in New Orleans got the find of a lifetime. He found a very special 1861-O Seated Liberty half-dollar hiding in a roll of Kennedy half-dollars.
After undergoing knee surgery, this unnamed coin collector decided to sort through rolls of Kennedy half-dollars to pass the time while recovering. He was looking for silver half-dollars, because if they were minted before 1964, they would be worth more than fifty cents. Some of them, a lot more. In the past, he’d had a lot of luck finding coins that he could turn around and sell for a profit. But never like this. The 1861-O Seated Liberty half-dollar he found is valuable not only for its age, rarity, and silver content, but for its history as well.
The coin he found was minted in New Orleans during the Civil War. Unlike other Seated Liberty half-dollars from the New Orleans mint, this coin was produced while the mint was under Confederate control. Coin experts determined this by a unique die break on the obverse side of the coin.
The man doesn’t plan on selling the coin in the near future, but if he does it will go for a lot more than fifty cents! The coin hasn’t been graded yet, so the exact price is unknown. However, in 2012, a similar coin that had been certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corp. sold for over $3,500.
Incredibly, that wasn’t the only find he made. In one of his last rolls of JFK half-dollars, the collector discovered an 1869-O Barber half-dollar! Unfortunately, this piece was far more damaged and not as rare, making it less valuable. Still, it’s a pretty good score for the price of a roll of half-dollars.
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