Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 26,900
Catalog: KM-181
Obverse Designer: Frank Vittor
Reverse Designer: Frank Vittor
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

1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS obverse 1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis



The Battle of Gettysburg, which occurred from July 1st-3rd of 1863, was one of the deadliest fights of the Civil War and marks the beginning of the long and painful Confederate withdrawal and ultimate defeat in 1865. In observance of the battle’s 75th anniversary, the Pennsylvania State Commission sought to have a commemorative coin issued to honor the memory of those who fought and died. They were successful, and legislation was passed on June 16, 1936 which called for the minting of no more than 50,000 half dollars commemorating the battle.

The Commission hired Philadelphia sculptor Frank Vittor to design the coin. In a departure from most of the commemorative coin programs of the era, Vittor’s original models were well-received by the Commission of Fine Arts from the onset. One of the only major issues that the Commission had with the coin was the similarity between the Union and Confederate soldiers on the obverse. This might have actually been an intentional nod towards the Civil War theme of brother against brother and was not changed. Final approval of the design was given on March 24th, 1937. The dies were then prepared in Philadelphia, and the maximum mintage of 50,000 was produced at the Mint there in June.

Vittor’s obverse design portrays conjoined busts of Union and Confederate veterans in uniform facing right. Above are the mottoes LIBERTY and E•PLURIBUS•UNUM. Arranged in arcs around the periphery are the legends UNITED• STATES•OF•AMERICA and BLUE•AND• GRAY• REUNION, separated by stars. The reverse is dominated by Union and Confederate shields, separated from one another by fasces. Wrapped around these elements are branches of oak and olive, perhaps symbolizing war and peace. The date 1936 appears below; this was specified in the enabling act, though it has no other relevance to this coin. Below the date is the value •HALF•DOLLAR•, while above the shields is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, separated by the blades of the fasces. Around the periphery are the inscriptions 75TH•ANNIVERSARY and BATTLE•OF•GETTYSBURG and the dates 1863 and 1938, all separated by stars.

The coins were originally sold for $1.65 a piece by the Pennsylvania State Commission during late 1937 and continuing through the Blue and Gray Reunion of July, 1938. After the event, the remaining coins were transferred to the American Legion in Pennsylvania. In attempt to make the coin seem more desirable, the price was raised to $2.65. Unfortunately, this didn’t help sales, and the remaining 23,100 pieces were returned to the mint for melting, leaving a net mintage of 26,900 for this now-popular issue.

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.

1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - 160 215 330 370 380 385 400 425 465 525 575 900 1200 2700 55000 - -
$ - - - - - - - 575 650 1050 1625 3500 -

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: 3300
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 64
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
5/9/2001 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 1435, 1435/Lot# 1404 $626.75
1/9/2002 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2002 Orlando, FL (FUN) Signature Sale #280, 280/Lot# 8723 $460.00
8/18/2004 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2004 August Pittsburgh, PA Signature Sale #352, 352/Lot# 4265 $9,775.00
1/7/2010 NGC MS 63   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 443, 449/Lot# 7505 $442.75
9/20/2010 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18602/Lot# 1476 $936.00
9/19/2010 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg September 19-21, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 60/Lot# 1947 $805.00
12/2/2012 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/02/2012, 51/Lot# 87543 $683.10
12/5/2013 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2013 December 5 - 8 US Coins Signature Auction - Houston Session(3), 1192/Lot# 4363 $1,175.00
4/1/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers March 2014 Baltimore Auction, 6008/Lot# 8377 $1,069.25


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4154504875276538749089419589669901005102810881173123916091886286099181022217934
4274625005697278859199479619749951013104811161195136217012211521310019127930
000000919947961974995101310481116119513621701221152131001900
0000009309529639821000102010681145121714861794253575651012100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 2860
Owner: Bruce Young
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1886
Owner: Alex J. Llorente
 
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