Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 25,015
Catalog: KM-188
Obverse Designer: Benjamin Hawkins
Reverse Designer: Benjamin Hawkins
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.15 (12/1/2015)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1936 WISCONSIN 50C MS obverse 1936 WISCONSIN 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The 1936 Wisconsin Centennial half dollar was yet another commemorative issue that honored event of no real national significance. In this case, it was the 100th, anniversary of the founding of the Wisconsin territory. It seems the coin was essentially an afterthought, as the centennial celebrations were to be held on July 4thof 1936, and the legislation authorizing the mintage of no less than 25,000 coins was not passed until May 15th of that year.

After some troubles with their first selection, the Wisconsin Centennial Commission’s Coinage Committee selected New York sculptor Benjamin Hawkins to design the coin. His obverse of the Wisconsin half dollar depicts a badger in profile, facing left and perched upon a log. Behind it, arranged vertically, are three arrows, symbolizing the three engagements of the Blackhawk Wars, and an olive branch, denoting the peace which followed. The statutory motto IN GOD WE TRUST is crowded into the space between these symbols. E PLURIBUS UNUM and LIBERTY are arranged in arc form above and below, respectively. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are inscribed around the periphery.

The reverse depicts the old territorial seal, with a disembodied arm holding a pickaxe suspended above a pile of lead ore (which was important for making bullets during the War of 1812.) The inscription 4th DAY OF JULY ANNO DOMINI 1836 is arranged in three lines (the Latin part seemingly unnecessary). Encircling the periphery are the legend WISCONSIN TERRITORIAL CENTENNIAL and the date 1936, these separated by stars.

While the legislation authorized the minimum mintage of 25,000 coins, no maximum was noted. However, the Centennial Commission took the conservative route, and minted the minimum required. This ended up being the right move, as even ten years after the centennial celebrations, coins were still available by mail. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the supplies of the coin were finally exhausted.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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

Base $ - - 105 130 185 195 205 215 230 250 260 270 280 300 350 900 6400 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 335 475 1750 -

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Total Graded: 3803
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
11/2/2003 PCGS MS 67   Teletrade Auction 1800, 1800/Lot# 1401 $825.00
3/7/2005 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2010, 2010/Lot# 1753 $187.00
2/10/2008 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg February 10-13, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 44/Lot# 3244 $333.50
12/19/2011 PCGS MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 646, 653/Lot# 2511 $316.25
1/9/2013 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2013 January 9-13 US Coin FUN Signature Auction - Orlando Session(9), 1181/Lot# 14169 $305.50
4/28/2013 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 04/28/2013, 72/Lot# 112494 $192.50
8/30/2013 NGC MS 67   Stack's Bowers The September 2013 Philadelphia Auction, 195/Lot# 5112 $428.88

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 WISCONSIN 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 5064
Owner: Richard Schultz
Grade: MS 68
Points: 4942
Owner: Gregg Bingham
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Related Articles

Conservation Showcase: 1936 Wisconsin Commemorative Half Dollar

10/7/2009  — A recent example from our conservation laboratory.
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