Following the immense bloodshed of the Civil War, a religious revival swept through many regions of the United States and even impacted the nation's circulating coinage. Per the Mint Act of March 3, 1865, all circulating coins of sufficient size now had to display the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. As far as the Half Dollar is concerned, the addition of this feature came in 1866.
The early years of the Motto Seated Half Dollar series are characterized by relatively limited mintages at the Philadelphia Mint and widespread circulation for the San Francisco Mint issues. The Carson City Mint entered the fray in 1870, all deliveries from this facility being scarce-to-rare with the exception of the relatively common 1876-CC and 1877-CC. The 1878-CC and 1878-S are major rarities, and the 1879-1891 issues are scarce due to having been produced in very limited quantities. It should be noted that the Halves produced in 1873-1874 with arrows flanking the date constitute a separate type.