Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 100,000
Obverse Designer: George T. Morgan
Reverse Designer: John R. Sinnock
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.17 (11/22/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS obverse 1918 LINCOLN-ILLINOIS 50C MS reverse
Expand All    Collapse All

Description & Analysis

In 1918, the state of Illinois looked to honor their centennial year with the issuance of a coin. As opposed to many other commemorative issues in the classic commemorative series, the funds raised were actually used for their intended purpose, which was to help fund the centennial celebrations in the state. The legislation which authorized the coin was passed on June 1st, 1918 and called for the coining of not more than 100,000 half dollars in honor of the state’s centennial.

As the centennial year was already nearly half over, the design of the coin had to be completed quickly. Therefore, there were two designers; one to design the obverse, and the other for the reverse. Mint Chief Engraver George T. Morgan (of Morgan dollar fame) sculpted the obverse, while his newly-hired assistant John R. Sinnock completed the reverse. The obverse depicts a masterfully completed portrait of a young Abraham Lincoln (who spent his formative and early adult years in the state.) On the periphery of the obverse is CENTENNIAL OF THE STATE OF ILLIONOIS. Behind Lincoln’s head is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST and to his right LIBERTY is found. Finally, the date 1918 is seen below. The reverse of the coin was just as beautifully rendered. It’s a slightly altered state seal of Illinois; a defiant eagle is perched upon a rocky mound and the federal shield, clutching in its beak a banner inscribed with the Illinois motto STATE SOVEREIGNTY NATIONAL UNION. A rising sun is at right, while an olive branch passes behind the shield. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are arranged peripherally around the reverse. The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM appears above the sun in small letters to complete the design.

All 100,000 of the coins authorized were coined, and about 70,000 were distributed during the centennial year. However, even with those strong sales, at least 30,000 coins remained, as that number was discovered in just one Illinois bank during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Bank Holiday of 1933. Most of those halves were sold to dealers at a small premium over face value, while the remaining coins placed into circulation. Therefore, the net mintage of this coin is the full authorized mintage of 100,000 coins.


Loading... Working...

Use the scroll bar at the bottom of this box to view a summary of the NGC Price Guide, NGC Census, Auction Prices Realized and NGC Registry Scores for each grade.

There was no data found for this Coin.

Select Designation


Select Grade

Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/22/2019

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

Base $ - - 70.00 95.00 125 125 130 135 140 145 155 175 180 200 360 715 2275 18200 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 190 320 520 1225 5350 28600

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 4473
Low Grade: F
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

The chart showing F series, VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 55 series, 58 series, 60 series, 61 series, 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series, 68 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 11/19/2019 1918 50C LINCOLN-ILLINOIS MS PL
 ---------------100 %------ 
 ---0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %1 %1 %0 %1 %5 %16 %42 %25 %7 %2 %0 %-- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
8/5/2000 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Philadelphia 2000 Bullet Sale #234, 234/Lot# 817 $195.50
6/13/2005 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 2052, 2052/Lot# 1571 $231.00
5/27/2007 PCGS MS 64   Goldberg May 27-30, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 41/Lot# 591 $414.00
8/20/2007 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 170, 176/Lot# 1466 $355.35
10/13/2011 NGC MS 62   Heritage Auctions 2011 October 13-16 US Coins Signature Auction #1160- Pittsburgh Session(5), 1160/Lot# 10417 $132.25
9/2/2012 PCGS MS 66   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 20038/Lot# 1262 $596.00
10/18/2012 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2012 October 18-21 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Dallas Session(6), 1175/Lot# 10645 $646.25
2/22/2013 NGC MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 8275 $340.75
7/6/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 198747 $330.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1918 50C LINCOLN-ILLINOIS MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 5662
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3202
Owner: Chippewa
View the Registry Image Gallery

Related Articles

Seeing Stars: Part Two

5/1/2005 — I received a number of favorable comments about my column regarding the use of stars on United States coins. These included the suggestion that there was much more yet to be covered, so this month's installment will feature a further look at this "brilliant" subject.
View full article >
Seeing Stars

3/1/2005 — Among the most common design elements on United States coins are stars. Many of the older USA coin types featured 13 stars, representative of the original states that declared their independence from Britain in 1776.
View full article >

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer