Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 762,198
Obverse Designer: William Woodward
Reverse Designer: William Woodward
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 26.7300g
ASW: 0.7734oz
Melt Value: $17.63 (9/28/2020)
Diameter: 38.1mm
Edge: Reeded
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1989 S CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL S$1 PF obverse 1989 S CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL S$1 PF reverse
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Description & Analysis

The first U. S. Congress to convene under the federal constitution ratified in 1789 took its seats that very same year. To mark the bicentennial of this significant event, a bill was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on November 17, 1988 which provided for the minting of up to four million copper-nickel-clad half dollars, up to three million silver dollars and up to one million gold half eagles. These coins were to be issued in both proof and uncirculated finishes, though the law specified that none of the six resulting varieties could be produced at more than one minting facility. It also set an ending date of June 30, 1990 for the manufacture of these coins, though omitted was any limit to how long they could be sold. Surcharges of $1, $7 and $35 were added to the sales prices of the half dollars, dollars and half eagles, respectively. Under the original legislation 50% of the first $40 million in surcharges would go to the Capitol Preservation Fund, with any remaining profits being placed into the general fund of the Treasury for reduction of the national debt. This was later amended so that the entire amount realized from surcharges went to the Capitol Preservation Fund. The clad half dollar features on its obverse a facing view of the head from the "Statue of Freedom" that rests atop the dome of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. The obverse was designed by Patricia Lewis Verani, whose initials 'PV' appear above the statue's right shoulder. In addition to the statutory inscriptions are the legend BICENTENNIAL OF THE CONGRESS and the dual dates 1789 and 1989. The mintmark is seen below the date of coining, either 'D' for Denver (uncirculated coins) or 'S' for San Francisco (proof coins). The reverse of the half dollar displays an elevation view of the Capitol surrounded by thirteen stars and statutory inscriptions. This was designed by William Woodward and sculpted by the Mint's own Edgar Z. Steever IV. The initials of both men are seen beneath the Capitol at left and right, respectively. Both sides of the silver dollar were designed by Woodward, though the actual models were sculpted by Chester Y. Martin of the U. S. Mint. As on the half dollar, Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom dominates the obverse of this coin, though here it is seen in full, superimposed over a burst of sun rays that emerge from behind a cloud. The balance of the obverse is taken by statutory inscriptions and dual dates 1789 and 1989. Also as with the half dollar, Denver and San Francisco produced the uncirculated and proof editions, respectively, and their mintmarks are placed beneath the date of coining. The central element on the reverse of the silver dollar is the ceremonial mace that is placed on display whenever the House of Representatives is in session. This features an American eagle perched atop a globe that surmounts a fasces. In addition to the remaining statutory inscriptions, the reverse includes the commemorative theme BICENTENNIAL OF THE CONGRESS. The initials of Woodward and Martin are placed left and right, respectively, at the base of the fasces. As was becoming customary, both editions of the gold half eagle were struck at the West Point Mint in New York State. Although a competition was held that included eleven outside artists, this coin was entirely the work of U. S. Mint Engraver John Mercanti. The obverse displays an elevation view of the U. S. Capitol dome. The dual dates 1789-1989 are placed directly beneath it, while the 'W' mintmark appears to its right. The balance of the obverse features the usual statutory inscriptions. On the reverse is seen an ornamental piece from the Old Senate Chamber of an eagle perched atop the ceiling canopy. The theme BICENTENNIAL OF THE CONGRESS is inscribed atop the reverse, with the remaining statutory legends rounding out this side of the coin. Artistically, the three Congress coins fall solidly within the middle of the modern commemorative program, as they are among neither the best nor the worst of this series. They sold reasonably well, though it's significant that their sales were well below those of all previous programs since the revival of commemorative coinage in 1982. At their pre-issue prices, the three uncirculated coins cost $5, $23 and $185, respectively, and $6, $26 and $200 after July 17, 1989. For the proof editions the prices were $7 and $8, $25 and $29, and $195 and $215, respectively. The Prestige Proof Set for 1989 included both the half dollar and the silver dollar. This option was priced at $49 during the pre-issue period and at $52 after July 17. There were numerous other packaging options for multi-coin sets, but the numismatic marketplace presently does not place much emphasis on the relative rarity of these packages.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/29/2020

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

1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF UC
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 25.00 30.00 35.00 335

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 4192
Low Grade: 61
Average Grade: 68
High Grade: 70

The chart showing 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series, 68 series, 69 series, 70 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 9/22/2020 1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base--------------1---21138-52
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total--------------1---21138-52
 --------------2%---4%21%73%- 
1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF CA
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------------1-1-2
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------------1-1-2
 ------------------50%-50%- 
1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF UC
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base------------1117410301863807914138
-----------------------
-----------------------
-----------------------
Total------------1117410301863807914138
 ------------0%0%0%0%0%0%1%4%92%2% 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF CA
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base37373737373737373754941191231311311351471511591631671395
373737373737373743671021201261311321391481541601645760
0000003737436710212012613113213914815416016400
0000003737488111112212813113414315015616216600
1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF UC
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base373737373737373737631021311351431471511631671751791861483
373737373737373746761121321381441481551641701761816180
0000003737467611213213814414815516417017618100
0000003737548912113414014615015916617217818400
1989 S S$1 CONGRESS BICENTENNIAL PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base37373737373737373750811061111151191231311351431471511311
37373737373737374160891081121161201261321381441485380
000000373741608910811211612012613213814414800
000000373746719810911411812212813414014615000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
Points: 1483
Owner: BBRYANTJR
 
Grade: PF 70 ULTRA CAMEO
Points: 1483
Owner: Beijim
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.