Coin Specifications

Category: Modern Commemoratives (1982-Date)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 114,315
Catalog: KM-267
Obverse Designer: William J. Krawczewicz and Edgar Z. Steever
Reverse Designer: "Malcolm Farley and Thomas D. Rogers, Sr."
Composition: Copper-Nickel Clad Copper
Weight: 11.34g
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF obverse 1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

United States commemorative coins had been approved for previous Olympic Games in 1984, 1988 and 1992, and the sale of such pieces was viewed by Congress as a painless way of funding the training of America’s athletes. For those promoting the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, coin collectors evidently were seen as a cash cow that could be milked endlessly. Despite marketing surveys conducted by the coins’ backers in which collectors expressed their reluctance to buy an extensive series of commemoratives for a single occasion, a bill was approved by Congress authorizing the most complex and expensive program before or since.

The law authorized the minting of no less than 16 different coins for the same event. Each of these would be minted in the usual uncirculated and proof editions, making for a total of 32 issues in all. As is this weren’t enough to discourage sales of each coin type, it was determined that common reverse designs would be used for each of the three denominations, though the splitting of the series’ mintages over two calendar years, 1995 and 1996, would provide for a change in these common reverses from one year to the next.

Authorized for 1995 were two copper-nickel-clad half dollars, four silver dollars and two gold half eagles. This same line-up would be minted in 1996, too. Themes for the 1995 halves included basketball and baseball. The silver dollars honored gymnastics, paralympics, track and field and cycling. Half eagles were minted that showed the Olympic Torch runner and the Atlanta Stadium.

The common reverse for the 1995 halves featured a globe of the world with the Atlanta Centennial Olympics logo at its center. Seen on each of the 1995 silver dollars is a pair of grasped hands beneath the centennial logo. A strident American eagle dominates the common reverse for the 1995 half eagles.

A similar line-up was prepared bearing the date 1996. That year’s half dollars honored swimming and soccer, respectively, while themes for the silver dollars included tennis, rowing, high jump and paralympics. The torch bearer lights the Olympic flame brazier on the first half eagle of 1996, while the second issue portrays an American athlete carrying the national flag and leading his team in the parade of nations. The common reverses chosen for 1996 are all quite bland, consisting solely of the Centennial Olympics logo, text and a few other supporting elements.

All of the half dollars, regardless of finish, were coined at the San Francisco Mint. The production of silver dollars was divided between Denver (uncirculated) and Philadelphia (proof). As was customary for most gold commemoratives, both editions of the half eagles were minted at West Point.

With so many coins from which to choose, collectors were understandably selective about their purchases. Most of the obverse designs are average, at best, the reverse types abysmal. In general, the 1995 coins sold better than the 1996 series, despite inclusion of the half dollars in 1996’s Prestige Proof Set. International sales undoubtedly contributed toward salvaging what could have been a complete disaster, but it’s still likely that the U. S. Mint failed to recover its costs of modeling and die making for some of the poorest selling issues. There are some real rarities in this program, particularly among the always less popular uncirculated strikes.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 9/26/2014

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

1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF Ultra Cameo
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - 8.05 9.20 11.50 17.25 25.00 27.50 30.00 32.50 42.50 475

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 978
Low Grade: 67
Average Grade: 69
High Grade: 70


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
9/30/2003 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23101, 23101/Lot# 14260 $44.00
10/24/2004 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo Teletrade Auction 1952, 1952/Lot# 1526 $44.00
3/6/2008 NGC PF 69   Ultra Cameo David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 227, 233/Lot# 6407 $67.85
8/24/2008 NGC PF 69   Ultra Cameo Teletrade Auction 2575, 2575/Lot# 1712 $41.00
10/28/2008 NGC PF 70   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions Tuesday Internet Coin Auction #28111, 28111/Lot# 21822 $230.00
4/24/2013 PCGS PF 70   Ultra Cameo Heritage Auctions 2013 April 24 - 28 CSNS US Coin Signature Auction - Chicago Session(9), 1184/Lot# 9755 $411.25
6/23/2013 PCGS PF 69   Ultra Cameo GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/23/2013, 80/Lot# 119368 $23.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base37373737373737373737373737373737455059123237575
373737373737373737373737373737404753801613500
0000003737373737373737374047538016100
00000037373737373737373742485610219900
1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base37373737373737373737373737373745596772139258663
373737373737373737373737373740506269941793930
0000003737373737373737405062699417900
00000037373737373737374254647011721800
1996 S OLYMPICS SWIMMING 50C PF Ultra Cameo
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base373737373737373737373737373245671021151231632881103
373737373737373737373737373652791061181362055600
0000003737373737373736527910611813620500
0000003737373737373741609011112015024600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 1103
Owner: Bruce Laquster
 
Grade: PF 70 UC
Points: 1103
Owner: coincolic
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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