Morgan Dollars

Collectible Coins



<< Previous in Shipwreck Coins Next in Shipwreck Coins >>

Price: $1,399.00
Sold Out
Item Number: NK10683
1861 O S.S. Republic U.S. Mint Issue Seated Liberty Half Dollar

Rare Civil War Era Coin with extra Pedigree of Being Recovered from a Shipwreck

In the spring of 1861, decades of simmering tensions between the northern and southern United States over issues including states' rights versus federal authority and slavery burst into the American Civil War (1861-65). The election of the anti-slavery Republican Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860 caused seven southern states to secede from the Union to form the Confederate States of America.

This 1861 Seated Liberty silver half dollar was minted at the New Orleans Mint in Louisiana, which was the only Southern Mint to survive the Civil War. The Dahlonega and Charlotte Mints ceased production of coins in 1861 when the States of Georgia and North Carolina left the Union and joined the Confederacy. They never minted coins again. In 1861 three different governments operated the New Orleans Mint; The United States, the State of Louisiana and the Confederate States of America.

The coin has been authenticated by NGC, the official coin grading service of the American Numismatic Association. NGC experts have certified that the dies used to strike your coin are attributed to the U.S. Mint and were struck on federal dies. NGC has created special coin holders guaranteeing the provenance of your coin.

The coin also has the extra pedigree of being part of the largest treasure trove of U.S. coins in history. 51,000 coins and over 14,000 artifacts were recovered from the SS Republic shipwreck, a Civil War-era side-wheel steamship en route from New York to New Orleans that sank in 1865 after battling a hurricane for two days.

Your coin was discovered at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 1,700 deep approximately 100 miles of the Georgia coast where it lay undisturbed and unseen by humans for almost 140 years! The archaeological excavation conducted during the 2003-2004 excavation seasons was accomplished entirely through the use of advanced robotics and cutting-edge technologies and was the first of its kind ever performed at such depths.

Seated Liberty half Dollars a fascinating series

Seated Liberty half dollars were issued from 1839-1891. The design  features a  portrait of Lady Liberty seated on a stone, with a heraldic shield marked “Liberty” in her right hand and a pole with a liberty cap on the top in her left. The reverse depicts an eagle similar to that on earlier half dollars.

In 1853 the weight of the coin was reduced by seven percent because the California gold rush of 1849 set up a dynamic where silver coins were more valuable than gold coins. Two-hundred half dollars melted into bullion would buy not $100 in gold but $106.60. This gold could then be exchanged at face value for more silver coins. By 1853 silver coins had a higher metal value than monetary value and melting was widespread. These smaller size Seated Liberty Half dollars were issued until 1873.


• Date: 1861
• Metal: 12.44 grams silver
• Purity: .900
• Diameter: 30.6 mm
• Grade/Condition: NGC Shipwreck Effect
• Mint Mark: O United States Issue
• Service: NGC