Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 152,000
Obverse Designer: Cyrus E. Dallin
Reverse Designer: Cyrus E. Dallin
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.52 (6/27/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1920 PILGRIM 50C MS obverse 1920 PILGRIM 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Pilgrims were ultra-religious Christians who rejected the Church of England and were therefore viewed as separatists. After fleeing to Holland where they were merely tolerated, they finally got the chance to move somewhere where they were free to practice their religion as they saw fit. In 1620, they set sail for the New World, and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. In honor of the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival, as well as to help fund events honoring them, the Tercentenary Commission sought the striking of 500,000 commemorative half dollars.

While the Commission originally sought this large mintage of half a million coins, Congress only approved a still-generous mintage of 300,000. The Commission selected Boston sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin to design the coin. His obverse depicts a left-facing, half-length figure of William Bradford, the second governor of the Plymouth Colony. He holds in his left arm what is most likely a Bible. Behind his portrait is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, while the legends UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and PILGRIM HALF DOLLAR are arranged peripherally, separated by stars. The reverse is dominated by a three-quarters view of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower sailing on rough seas. The inscription PILGRIM TERCENTENARY CELEBRATION is arranged peripherally. Separated from it by stars are the dual dates 1620—1920.

Unfortunately for the Commission, the coins were not ready until late in the year, well after many of the celebrations they were supposed to help fund had already taken place. By the end of 1920, some 48,000 coins remained of the 200,000 actually struck. The Tercentenary Commission requested that these be melted and re-coined the following year with the new date 1921. This request was granted, and a small “1921” was added to the left obverse field. Only 80,000 coins were struck that year, and the Commission was only able to sell a quarter of them. The remaining 60,000 coins were returned to the mint to be destroyed, which left net mintages of 152,000 for the 1920 issue, and only 20,000 for the 1921. Due to this disparity in mintage, the 1921 issue is much more valuable than the 1920.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/22/2019

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

1920 PILGRIM 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 52.00 60.70 73.70 75.00 81.70 93.00 94.00 97.00 99.00 115 150 260 477 2170 15500 - -
$ 65.00 - - - - - - - 125 170 305 915 7250 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 4969
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 67

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: 6/25/2019 1920 PILGRIM 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base3---15124532845553048532280111718821---4969
---------------2-781--18
---------------899----26
------------------1---1
Total3---151245328455530485322901126204301--5014
 0 %---0 %0 %0 %0 %0 %1 %2 %0 %1 %6 %17 %46 %22 %4 %1 %0 %-- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/25/2002 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2002 April Columbus, OH (CSNS) Signature Sale #288, 288/Lot# 8159 $891.25
5/10/2007 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday Rocket Sale #3, 147/Lot# 5318 $345.00
9/6/2009 PCGS Genuine Genuine   Goldberg September 6-8, 2009 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 54/Lot# 2998 $82.50
8/16/2011 PCGS AU 58   Teletrade Auction 3120, 3120/Lot# 1146 $76.00
12/25/2011 NGC MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/25/2011, 150/Lot# 29965 $125.40
9/9/2012 NGC AU 58   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131238/Lot# 23102 $74.00
11/10/2015 NGC MS 63   Stack's Bowers November 2015 Baltimore, 6110/Lot# 26944 $141.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1920 50C MS PILGRIM
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base1391551711902092302552882983043303453513814095027931578342761691077019506
1441601771962162382662913003133353473613904405991055219443417703136820
000000266291300313335347361390440599105521944341770300
000000277295302321340349371400471696131628115255923600
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4341
Owner: Gregg Bingham
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 2194
Owner: Robert Baker Trust
 
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