Tag: Half Dollar

Heritage Auctions offers new 1838-O Half Dollar booklet

Heritage Auctions offers new 1838-O Half Dollar booklet

Featuring newly uncovered information on the storied mintage that will “change the way numismatists think about this important coin…”   DALLAS — The 1838-O Reeded Edge half dollar is one of the classic rarities in U.S. coinage, from a tiny mintage of “not more than 20 pieces,” and now aficionados of the rare variety have […]

1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half Dollar

1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial Half Dollar

In 1778, when George Vancouver sailed under Captain Cook on his exploration of the Sandwich Islands, he was well into his career as a renowned explorer. After Cook’s death, Vancouver was given command of the British ship Discovery and achieved fame as the chief explorer of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. So it […]

1921 Alabama Centennial Half Dollar

1921 Alabama Centennial Half Dollar

Alabama, first explored by the Spanish in 1540 and settled by the French in 1702, was still a part of the American frontier in the early 19th century. But the frontier areas, with land cheap and plentiful and an influx of migrants from the east, were experiencing rapid growth. Growth meant statehood, and Alabama was […]

1936 Alabany Charter Half Dollar

1936 Alabany Charter Half Dollar

No one ever disputed that the city of Albany, New York was a pleasant enough place to live and worthy of its residents’ pride. Yet, in the mid 1930s, those who believed that commemorative coinage programs had gotten out of hand needed only to point at the half dollars honoring cities such as Albany and […]

1937 Battle of Antietam Half Dollar

1937 Battle of Antietam Half Dollar

The date of September 17, 1862 is remembered as the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War, as Federal forces under the command of General George B. McClellan countered the advance of Confederate troops led by General Robert E. Lee. By the day’s end, both sides had suffered losses of more than 2,000 dead, […]

1935-39 Arkansas Centennial Half Dollar

1935-39 Arkansas Centennial Half Dollar

The Arkansas half dollar is a good example of a worthy project discredited through greed and poor management. Although this issue was the product of a state-sanctioned committee, this group’s actions were more in character for racketeers. That the design of this coin was something less than an artistic success only added to the controversy. […]

1936-S Bay Ridge Half Dollar

1936-S Bay Ridge Half Dollar

Of the many different themes which have appeared on United States commemorative coins, by far the most common are those pertaining to historic anniversaries, such as the Pilgrim Tercentenary and the Sesquicentennial of American Independence. In a similar vein, a number have honored statehood centennials, such as those of Illinois and Missouri. Some recognize great […]

1946-51 Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar

1946-51 Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar

In retrospect it seems an inconsequential act to honor the distinguished African-American educator Booker T. Washington. At the time, however, this was a fairly bold move for a nation that in many places still maintained legal segregation of the races. Though Washington certainly was worthy of commemoration, this did not guarantee that the coin would […]

1934-38 Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar

1934-38 Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar

It wasn’t too many years ago that Daniel Boone was one of the best known figures in American history. This was due in no small part to a popular television series about his adventures that featured Fess Parker in the title role. Today, Boone is probably less well known than most professional athletes. This is […]

1936 Bridgeport Centennial Half Dollar

1936 Bridgeport Centennial Half Dollar

More than one writer has noted the appropriateness of depicting showman P. T. Barnum on a commemorative half dollar. The saying “There’s a sucker born every minute” has been attributed to Barnum, and by the time that this issue was released (the fall of 1936), most coin collectors were beginning to feel like suckers for […]

1925-S California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

1925-S California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

The discovery of gold in California in 1848 focused attention on that western territory as few other events ever could. The siren call of “riches for the taking” spread rapidly around the world. Tens of thousands caught “gold fever,” braving the rigors of voyages “around the Horn,” treks across Panama’s deadly jungles or the time-consuming […]

1936 Cincinnati Musical Center Half Dollar

1936 Cincinnati Musical Center Half Dollar

When the first silver commemorative coins were produced in the United States beginning in 1892, they were intended to celebrate specific historic events or to raise funds for the advancement of a specific commemorative cause. This purity of purpose, however, would last less than thirty years. By 1920, the striking of commemorative coins was considered […]

1936 Cleveland Centennial/Great Lake Expo Half Dollar

1936 Cleveland Centennial/Great Lake Expo Half Dollar

This half dollar celebrates the one-hundredth anniversary of Cleveland, Ohio’s incorporation as a city, as well as the Great Lakes Exposition staged during 1936-37 in honor of Cleveland’s centennial. In that respect, it’s a perfectly legitimate commemorative coin issue; some may argue, however, that the event was not really worthy of recognition on a United […]

1936 Columbia Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

1936 Columbia Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

The Columbia, South Carolina half dollar occupies a unique place in the pageant of United States commemorative coins: Although the first issue to be authorized during that prolific year of 1936, it was the last to be distributed! This caused a near riot among coin collectors, who were already being subjected to one outrage after […]

1935 Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

1935 Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” And it is the mighty Charter Oak that dominates the obverse of the Connecticut Tercentenary half dollar. When an agent of the English Crown attempted to confiscate this colony’s royal charter in 1687, a cavity within the ancient landmark served as a secure hiding place for their treasured document, […]

1936 Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Half Dollar

1936 Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Half Dollar

Question: Which United States coin is dated 1936, was struck in 1937 and commemorates an anniversary in 1938? Answer: The Gettysburg half dollar—well, yes and no. While that’s true of the Gettysburg half too, the coin in question is the Delaware Swedish Tercentenary half dollar. It’s one of the less remembered of our commemoratives, but […]

1936 Elgin Centennial Half Dollar

1936 Elgin Centennial Half Dollar

Although the Elgin half dollar was conceived partly to commemorate the founding of Elgin, Illinois, this theme is not readily apparent when studying its design: Nowhere does it make reference to the actual centennial dates of 1835-1935. In truth, the centennial of Elgin was subordinate to the more urgent goal of this coin in raising […]

1936 Battle of Gettysburg Half Dollar

1936 Battle of Gettysburg Half Dollar

The name Gettysburg is synonymous with the Civil War itself—no other campaign so captures the high drama and terrible tragedy of America’s darkest chapter. Fought over the course of three days—July 1, 2 & 3, 1863—it cost Union casualties of 17,684 killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost the even greater number of 22,638 killed […]

1922 Grant Centennial Half Dollar

1922 Grant Centennial Half Dollar

Fate, they say, is fickle. Anyone who doubts this should study the career of Ulysses S. Grant, who rose from utter obscurity to win a prominent place in U.S. history—and also on U.S. coinage. Two U.S. coins, a gold dollar and a silver half dollar, were issued in 1922 to mark the centennial of his […]

1928 Hawaii Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

1928 Hawaii Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

Luxury hotels along Waikiki Beach . . . island-hopping helicopters filled with smiling tourists . . . snorkelers and surfers enjoying the blue Pacific. These are among the images that come to mind when most people think of Hawaii. But Captain James Cook found quite a different place when the famed British navigator chanced upon […]

1935 Hudson Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

1935 Hudson Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

By 1609, famed English explorer Henry Hudson had already failed twice in his search for a northern water passage to Asia. Undaunted by defeat, Hudson capitalized on his widespread reputation as an expert navigator and secured the backing of the Dutch East India Company for another attempt. With a crew of twenty, in March of […]

1924 Huguenot-Walloon Half Dollar

1924 Huguenot-Walloon Half Dollar

When it debuted in 1924, the Huguenot-Walloon half dollar set off a flurry of controversy. Aggravating on a number of counts, it was criticized by civil libertarians as religious propaganda, by constitutionalists as a violation of the First Amendment separating church and state, and by numismatists and other aesthetically-attuned individuals as mediocre artwork. Attacked primarily […]

1946 Iowa Centennial Half Dollar

1946 Iowa Centennial Half Dollar

More so than any other commemorative coin issue, the Iowa half dollar stands as a monument to effective and equitable production and distribution. There was not the slightest taint of corruption associated with it, nor was there any acrimony in the course of its preparation. The coins that resulted from this program were quite attractive, […]

1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

1925 Lexington-Concord Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

“The shot heard around the world” was fired on April 19, 1775 at Lexington, Massachusetts. Although this engagement and the one that followed at neighboring Concord weighed against the Americans, their willingness to fight for their rights was at last put to the crucial test, and there was no going back. These initial skirmishes of […]

1918 Illinois Centennial Half Dollar

1918 Illinois Centennial Half Dollar

The Illinois Centennial half dollar is one of the few real success stories in U. S. commemorative coinage. A superb piece of sculpting, its appeal as a work of art is just as evident today as it was in 1918. The entire authorized issue was sold; although many pieces remained on hand in Springfield banks […]

1936 Long Island Tercentenary Half Dollar

1936 Long Island Tercentenary Half Dollar

1936 was the year of the commemorative half dollar. As a speculative mania developed in these special coins, no less than 16 new designs appeared. In addition, several existing types were reissued with the date 1936, since their authorized mintages had not yet been reached. In all, collectors active in that year could chose from […]

1936 Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

1936 Lynchburg Sesquicentennial Half Dollar

The year 1936 was the high water mark for United States commemorative coins, both in terms of their speculative popularity and in the number of different types issued. Some marked events of national significance, while others were of purely local or regional interest, coins which were authorized primarily as the result of some senator’s or […]

1920 Maine Centennial Half Dollar

1920 Maine Centennial Half Dollar

“As Maine goes, so goes the nation.” This old political adage refers to Maine voters’ nearly perfect record in predicting the outcome of national elections, which was due at least partly to a peculiar feature unique to that state. Until 1957, the voters of Maine went to the polls in September, rather than November, as […]

1934 Maryland Tercentenary Half Dollar

1934 Maryland Tercentenary Half Dollar

After the dry spell of 1929-33, in which no new commemorative coin types were issued by the United States Mint, the Maryland half dollar was at the vanguard in 1934. Though it wasn’t the first new issue authorized (that honor going to the Texas half dollar), it was the first one coined and distributed. As […]

1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollar

1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollar

Although the legendary folk-hero and “Wilderness Trail” blazer Daniel Boone is often connected with Kentucky, it was present-day Missouri that he called home for the last quarter-century of his life. By the time he died at the age of 86 in 1820, Missouri had come a long way from the untamed part of Spanish America […]

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