Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 274,000
Catalog: KM-153
Obverse Designer: Chester Beach
Reverse Designer: Chester Beach
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.30 (8/29/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1923 S MONROE 50C MS obverse 1923 S MONROE 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

One of the coins with the most convoluted history is the 1923-S Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollar. Certainly, the Monroe Doctrine itself is deserving of national recognition. This foreign policy statement issued by President James Monroe in 1823 expressed in no uncertain terms that the U.S. would not tolerate European interference, control or influence in North and South America. However, the way the coin came about is odd to say the least. In the early 1920’s, Hollywood was reeling from multiple scandals. To help polish the studios’ tarnished reputations, the American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Historical Exposition was formed.

While searching for a way to raise funds, the Historical Exposition decided that a commemorative coin would do the trick, as well as have the additional benefit of generating much needed goodwill for the film industry. The Exposition decided that the Monroe Doctrine, written 100 years earlier in 1923, would make for a popular coin. Legislation passed on January 24th, 1923 authorized the minting of no more than 300,000 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollars.

Sculptor Chester Beach was selected to design the coin. The obverse is simple enough, and shows the conjoined busts of Monroe and his Secretary of State in 1823, John Quincy Adams. Surrounding the busts at the periphery are the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR. To their left is IN GOD WE TRUST, and to the right the date and mint mark.

The reverse was originally to be a simple depiction of North and South America. However, in place of the relief maps of the continents, Beach substituted two female figures which were contorted into a rough approximation of the shape of each land mass. The North American figure holds a branch in her left hand in the area of northern Canada while extending a twig to South America through Central America with her right hand. The South American figure holds a cornucopia with her right arm. The major ocean currents of the Atlantic and Pacific are also included, and apparently represent the flow of goods between the two continents, unimpeded by the European powers. In the lower left reverse field the centennial dates 1823-1923 flank both sides of a scroll and quill, symbols clearly intended to suggest the Monroe Doctrine. The inscriptions MONROE DOCTRINE CENTENNIAL and LOS ANGELES encircle the border. Struck in low relief, the design overall is uninspiring.

While 300,000 coins were authorized, only 274,000 were actually struck. The coins were sold for $1 each, although many were released into circulation at face value after sales fell well short of that number. Therefore, the net mintage was 274,000, and this issue is often found circulated.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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

1923 S MONROE 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - 22.00 30.00 38.00 51.00 53.00 56.00 60.00 72.00 95.00 130 270 1550 4800 27000 - - -
$ - - - - - - 105 185 315 2000 6850 - -

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: 3589
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/6/2005 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2005 June Long Beach Bullet Auction #377, 377/Lot# 2450 $345.00
5/28/2006 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg May 28-31, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 36/Lot# 3249 $4,025.00
2/22/2013 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 8304 $199.75
2/25/2013 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 3419, 3419/Lot# 2365 $140.00
3/3/2013 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 741, 750/Lot# 353 $1,300.00
7/6/2014 NGC MS 63   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 199/Lot# 171674 $99.00
9/7/2014 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 128323 $235.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1923 S MONROE 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base6372818912315517120521222323726227835145076421793747469460401651130266
66758410013416018220721622824526730238455512362702406351439530210960
0000001822072162282452673023845551236270240635143953000
00000019421021923225427332741765917073224437855911302100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6040
Owner: J & L
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4535
Owner: Richard Schultz
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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