Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 100,000
Catalog: KM-143
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Designer: John R. Sinnock
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.17 (11/26/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS obverse 1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

In 1918, the state of Illinois looked to honor their centennial year with the issuance of a coin. As opposed to many other commemorative issues in the classic commemorative series, the funds raised were actually used for their intended purpose, which was to help fund the centennial celebrations in the state. The legislation which authorized the coin was passed on June 1st, 1918 and called for the coining of not more than 100,000 half dollars in honor of the state’s centennial.

As the centennial year was already nearly half over, the design of the coin had to be completed quickly. Therefore, there were two designers; one to design the obverse, and the other for the reverse. Mint Chief Engraver George T. Morgan (of Morgan dollar fame) sculpted the obverse, while his newly-hired assistant John R. Sinnock completed the reverse. The obverse depicts a masterfully completed portrait of a young Abraham Lincoln (who spent his formative and early adult years in the state.) On the periphery of the obverse is CENTENNIAL OF THE STATE OF ILLIONOIS. Behind Lincoln’s head is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST and to his right LIBERTY is found. Finally, the date 1918 is seen below. The reverse of the coin was just as beautifully rendered. It’s a slightly altered state seal of Illinois; a defiant eagle is perched upon a rocky mound and the federal shield, clutching in its beak a banner inscribed with the Illinois motto STATE SOVEREIGNTY NATIONAL UNION. A rising sun is at right, while an olive branch passes behind the shield. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are arranged peripherally around the reverse. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM appears above the sun in small letters to complete the design.

All 100,000 of the coins authorized were coined, and about 70,000 were distributed during the centennial year. However, even with those strong sales, at least 30,000 coins remained, as that number was discovered in just one Illinois bank during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Bank Holiday of 1933. Most of those halves were sold to dealers at a small premium over face value, while the remaining coins placed into circulation. Therefore, the net mintage of this coin is the full authorized mintage of 100,000 coins.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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Base $ - - 70.00 95.00 115 120 125 130 135 150 160 170 240 550 875 2600 - - -
$ - - - - - - - 190 375 660 1300 6500 -

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Total Graded: 4246
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
7/22/2001 PCGS MS 66   Teletrade Auction 1462, 1462/Lot# 1067 $681.25
6/6/2005 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #41, 45/Lot# 961 $195.50
8/8/2007 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2007 Milwaukee, WI (ANA) Signature Coin Auction #444, 444/Lot# 1233 $5,175.00
2/1/2009 NGC MS 64   Goldberg February 1-4, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 51/Lot# 1949 $219.00
1/3/2012 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(10), 1166/Lot# 13207 $632.50
9/2/2012 PCGS MS 66   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20038/Lot# 1262 $596.00
2/3/2013 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 02/03/2013, 60/Lot# 78824 $715.00
3/6/2015 NGC MS 67   Stack's Bowers March 2015 Portland ANA, 6103/Lot# 497 $4,112.50

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS
1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 5662
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 68
Points: 5662
Owner: Richard Schultz
View the Registry Image Gallery

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