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Fort Vancouver Centennial (1925) Half Dollar Auctions

John McLoughlin, shown on the obverse of this coin, built Fort Vancouver ( Washington ) on the Columbia River in 1825. The sale of the coins at $1 each helped to finance the pageant staged for the celebration. Laura Gardin Fraser prepared the models for this coin, which was minted in San Francisco. The S mintmark was omitted. The reverse has a pioneer settler in buckskin suit with a musket […]

Elgin, Illinois, Centennial (1936) Coin Auctions

The 100th anniversary of the founding of Elgin was marked by a special issue of half dollars in 1936. The proceeds were devoted to financing a Pioneer Memorial statue, which is depicted on the reverse of the coin. The year 1673 bears no relation to the event but refers to the year in which Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette entered Illinois Territory. The designs were prepared by Trygve Rovelstad, who […]

Delaware Tercentenary (1936) Coin Auctions

The 300th of the landing of the Swedes in Delaware was the occasion for a souvenir issue of half dollars. The colonists landed on the spot that is now Wilmington and established a church, which is the oldest Protestant church in the United States until used for worship. Their ship Kalmar Nyckel , is shown on the reverse of the coin, and the old Swedes Church is on the observe. […]

Daniel Boone Bicentennial (1934 – 1938) Half Dollar Auctions

This coin type, which was minted for five years, was first struck in 1934 to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of the famous frontiersman’s birth. The change of date to 1935 for the second year’s coinage brought about the addition of the commemorative date 1934 above the words pioneer years. Coinage covered several years, similar to the schedule of Texas issues. The models for this coin were prepared by Augustus […]

World’s Columbian Exposition Half Dollar Auctions

The first United States commemorative coin was the Columbian half dollar designed by Olin Lewis Warner. Charles E. Barber engraved the observe, showing the bust of Columbus and George T. Morgan engraved the reverse, representation of Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria above two hemispheres. The coins were sold for $1 each at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago during 1893.

Columbia South Carolina (1936) Coin Auctions

Souvenirs half dollars were authorized to help finance the extensive celebration marking the sesquicentennial of the founding of Columbia in 1786. A. Wolf Davidson designed the coin which was struck at all three mints and sold in sets. The obverse bears the figure of Justice with sword and scales. At the left is the capitol of 1786, and at the right, the capitol of 1936. A palmetto tree, the state […]

Cleveland Centennial / Great Lake Exposition (1936) Coin Auctions

A special coinage of fifty-cent pieces was authorized in commemoration of the centennial of the celebration of Cleveland, Ohio, on the occasion of the Great Lake Exposition held there in 1936. The designs were prepared by Brenda Putnam. Although half the coinage were struck on 1937, all were dated 1936. The obverse has a bust of Moses Cleveland, and the reverse displays a map of the Great Lake region with […]

Cincinnati Music Center (1936) Coin Auctions

Although the head of Stephen Foster, “America’s Troubadour”, dominates the obverse of this special issue, the anniversary celebrated bears no relation to him. The coins, designed by Constance Ortmayer of Washington, DC, were supposedly struck to commemorate the 50th anniversary in 1936 of Cincinnati as a center of music. The coins were struck at the three mints and were sold only in sets at$7.75, the highest initial cost of a […]

California Pacific International Exposition (1935 – 1936) Coin Auctions

Congress approve the coinage of souvenirs half dollars for the exposition on May 3, 1935. Robert Aitken designed the coin, which was struck at San Francisco Mint. The same type with date 1936 was struck at the Denver Mint, under authority of the special Recoinage Act of May 6, 1936, which specified that180 000 pieces could be recoined with the date 1936 irrespective of the year of issue. The obverse […]

California Diamond Jubilee (1925) Half Dollar Auctions

The California half dollar was designed by Jo Mora, a noted California sculptor. The obverse bears a kneeling figure of a Forty-Niner. The reverse shows a walking grizzly bear, the state emblem. The celebration for which these coins were struck marked the 75th anniversary of the admission of California into the Union.