Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 10,000
Catalog: KM-163
Obverse Designer: Juliette May Fraser & Chester Beach
Reverse Designer: Juliette May Fraser & Chester Beach
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.30 (8/30/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1928 HAWAII 50C MS obverse 1928 HAWAII 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis



The Hawaiian Islands were untouched by western civilization until Captain James Cook chanced upon the island chain in 1778 during a voyage across the Pacific. In honor of the 150th anniversary of Cook’s discovery of the islands, the people of Hawaii sought a commemorative coin which would help raise revenue to form a collection of Cook memorabilia in the then-territory’s archive. Legislation authorizing the minting of up 10,000 pieces was approved on March 7th, 1928.

Before the bill even passed, designs had already been submitted to the Fine Arts Commission by Juliette May Fraser, a well-known artist from Honolulu. The coin was modeled from her designs by sculptor Chester Beach. Their obverse features a left-facing bust of Cook. To Cook's left are the words CAPT. JAMES COOK DISCOVERER OF HAWAII, along with a tiny compass pointing north, signifying that he was looking due west toward the mid-Pacific region. Two statutory inscriptions, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and IN GOD WE TRUST, appear at the top and right-hand side, respectively. The value HALF DOLLAR hugs the lower rim, with eight small pyramids—four on each side—representing Hawaii's eight largest volcanic islands.

The coin's reverse depicts a native warrior chief attaining the top of a hill, a metaphor for Hawaii's rise from obscurity. He is clad in a feather cloak and holds a barbed spear. His hand is extended in welcome, showing that his intentions are peaceful. A coconut tree behind him denotes romance, while the landscape in the distance represents part of Waikiki Beach, with Diamond Head looking down on a row of grass huts. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is at the lower left, and the dual dates 1778-1928 are along the base, again in wavy characters symbolic of the sea.

The coins were scarce from the beginning, and even with a record-high issue price of $2 each, buyers eagerly snapped up the entire mintage. Plans to sell half the coins to buyers in Hawaii and half on the mainland were dashed when most of the coins were purchased by Hawaiians. With a beautiful design and very limited mintage for the type, the Hawaiian commemorative half dollars are on of the most expensive coins of the series across all grades.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/21/2015

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

1928 HAWAII 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - 525 875 1350 1600 1650 1750 2075 2550 2700 2850 3400 5250 8000 60000 - - -
$ 1475 - - 1900 2200 - - 3000 4300 6750 13500 - -

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: 1679
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 67


Upcoming Auctions

A random selection of NGC coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
9/20/2015 MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2015 September 17 - 20 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1224/Lot# 5392


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/18/2004 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2004 August Pittsburgh, PA Signature Sale #352, 352/Lot# 4269 $6,612.50
3/18/2007 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2341, 2341/Lot# 1462 $3,248.00
11/29/2007 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 199, 205/Lot# 9425 $6,670.00
1/31/2010 NGC MS 64   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 1570 $2,760.00
5/30/2010 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Bonhams Coins, Medals, and Banknotes, 18301/Lot# 1616 $1,287.00
11/14/2010 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 210114/Lot# 26325 $2,185.00
1/24/2012 NGC AU 50   Stack's Bowers The January 2012 Americana Sale, 134/Lot# 10435 $1,322.50
9/21/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/21/2014, 193/Lot# 211889 $2,500.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1928 HAWAII 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base96210281100117315832009210621972233230225102727278128602936319440485316682092342877150402
98410521124131017252041213622092256237125822745280728853022347944715817762515746359810
00000021362209225623712582274528072885302234794471581776251574600
00000021672221227924412655276328342911310837634893631984292225900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 5817
Owner: Chippewa
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 4801
Owner: Gregg Bingham
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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