Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 50,000
Obverse Designer: Anthony de Francisci
Reverse Designer: Anthony de Francisci
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.60 (2/25/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1920 MAINE 50C MS obverse 1920 MAINE 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

While Maine was settled by French colonists as early as 1604, it wasn’t until March 15th, 1820 that Maine became the 23rd state. 100 years later, Maine Representative John Peters sought the striking of a coin to commemorate the anniversary. With little debate on the subject, Congress authorized the mintage of up to 100,000 Maine Centennial half dollars on May 10th, 1920. Proceeds for the sale were to be used to help defray the costs of the centennial celebrations to be held in the state capital Portland.

Sketches were submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts, which were then forwarded to sculptor-member James Earle Fraser, of Buffalo nickel fame. He thought the designs were amateurish, but they were still used. Anthony De Francisci, a student of Fraser who would soon sculpt the Peace dollar, completed the plaster models that June and they were approved by the Commission on July 9th of the same year. The design is lackluster at best, and many believe both sides look like they should be reverses.

The obverse of the Maine Centennial half dollar features the state seal. A shield bearing a moose and a pine tree is at center, with a farmer and a sailor to the left and right of it, respectively. The Latin motto DIRIGO (I direct) is on a scroll above, with a star above it. Below the shield is a banner inscribed MAINE. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the value HALF DOLLAR are arranged in arcs around the periphery. The reverse is dominated by a wreath of pine branches. The words MAINE CENTENNIAL 1820-1920 are arranged within it. Above are the statutory legends E PLURIBUS UNUM and LIBERTY; below is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 50,000 Maine halves in the late summer of 1920, but unfortunately they arrived after the Centennial Celebration in Portland. However, about half of that mintage was sold by the State Treasurer before the end of 1920. No further coins were struck, and by 1929, all 50,000 of the coins on hand had been distributed. Although the Maine Centennial half dollar fell victim to poor design and even worse timing, the program was free of the scandal and controversy which plagued many other commemorative issues.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/8/2019

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1920 50C MAINE MS
Base $ 62.00 65.00 70.00 78.00 110 110 115 120 130 135 135 145 175 250 403 860 3250 13750 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 210 320 470 1300 10000 -

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Total Graded: 2970
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, 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: 2/25/2020 1920 50C MAINE MS
1920 50C MAINE MS PL

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1920 50C MAINE MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4583
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4583
Owner: Rob8
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