Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 4,894,044
Catalog: KM-208
Obverse Designer: Elizabeth Jones
Reverse Designer: Matthew Peloso
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.28 (9/2/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF obverse 1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The popularity of the 1976 USA Bicentennial coin program eased the way for Congress to consider a new series of commemorative coins exclusively for collectors. This subject had been off the table since 1954, when the last such coins were minted. Past programs had been plagued by various abuses, mostly resulting from the fact that the money raised from their sales went to private organizations of sometimes questionable merit. Any new commemorative programs would have to incorporate certain safeguards against a repeat of this scenario.

The approach in 1982 of the 250th anniversary of George Washington’s birth seemed like a subject for commemoration that was both worth and politically neutral, and a bill to strike silver half dollars was passed into law on December 23, 1981. Unlike with many programs of the past, sales of these coins would be handled by the U. S. Mint itself, with all profits going directly into the U. S. Treasury toward reduction of the federal debt. In addition, production of this issue would be limited to just a single date, with one mint coining the proof edition and one other striking the uncirculated version. This answered a common complaint associated with many of the earlier programs, wherein the same coin type would be issued by multiple mints year after year.

Utilizing its own resources entirely, the Mint’s chief engraver, Elizabeth Jones, created the obverse for the new coin, while its reverse was a collaborative effort between Jones and Matthew Peloso, also of the Mint’s staff. Jones prepared a handsome, facing portrait of our first president on horse back, while the reverse of this coin features a superb perspective view of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home in Virginia. As was traditional for most USA commemorative coins, this entry was a silver half dollar, and it provided excellent continuity between the old and new programs.

Uncirculated examples were coined at the Denver Mint (‘D’ mintmark to the right of the horse), while San Francisco (‘S’) produced the proof edition. Offered at reasonable prices, sales of both coins were brisk. The program was widely heralded as an artistic and public relations success, though there was one fly in the ointment. While Congress did limit the number of different issues and the year of coinage, it failed to limit the sales period. Still being offered by the Mint as late as 1986, the 1982-dated Washington Halves were sold in such large numbers that they became a drug in the aftermarket. It was not until the fairly recent boom in modern USA coinage that these coins finally gained some respect.

When the market developed for modern commemoratives graded and encapsulated by certification services, it became evident to everyone what only specialists had known before—that the uncirculated edition of the Washington Half Dollar is genuinely scarce in high grades. Unlike later commemoratives, which were very carefully handled by the Mint, this issue was subject to the numerous marks seen on ordinary circulating coins. This had made the Mint State Washington Half Dollar among the keys to completing a high-grade series or registry set.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/26/2014

Click on a price to see historical prices, comparison charts and trends.

1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 10.80 12.50 13.75 15.00 16.25 17.50 18.75 21.25 23.75 105

The World Coin Price Guide is independently compiled by Krause Publications’ NumisMaster. NGC makes this information available to its website visitors as a free service, but in no way does the information provided represent NGC’s official opinion or policy. For example, varieties listed in the World Coin Price Guide may not necessarily be recognized by NGC. Please contact NGC Customer Service with any questions.

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 9716
Low Grade: 61
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
1/26/1998 NGC PF 69   Teletrade Auction 1018, 1018/Lot# 1662 $35.97
12/19/2004 PCGS PF 70   Ultra Cameo Teletrade Auction 1976, 1976/Lot# 1465 $605.00
1/26/2012 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Thursday Modern Coin Auctions Session(1), 241205/Lot# 15402 $30.00
10/28/2012 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/28/2012, 46/Lot# 53813 $20.00
5/5/2013 PCGS PF 68   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/05/2013, 73/Lot# 113338 $22.00
5/26/2013 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 05/26/2013, 76/Lot# 117293 $24.00
5/18/2014 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 804, 813/Lot# 10348 $70.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3737373737373737373737373741455059636367147392
37373737373737373737373738424753606364942290
000000373737373737384247536063649400
0000003737373737374044485662636612000
1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3737373737373737373737374150545467727276167429
373737373737373737373738445154586972731062540
0000003737373737384451545869727310600
0000003737373737404753546370727513700
1982 S WASHINGTON 50C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base3737373737373737373737374554596376818185183463
373737373737373737373739485560677781821172760
0000003737373737394855606777818211700
0000003737373737425157617179818315000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
Points: 674
Owner: Hokieman
 
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 463
Owner: Bruce Laquster
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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