Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 14,966
Obverse Designer: Laura Gardin Fraser
Reverse Designer: Laura Gardin Fraser
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.70 (2/22/2020)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1925 FORT VANCOUVER 50C MS obverse 1925 FORT VANCOUVER 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

George Vancouver was a famous 18th century voyager, renowned for his exploration of the Pacific Northwest aboard his ship Discovery. Thus, it was appropriate to name the settlement established on the banks of the Columbia River after him. The Hudson’s Bay Company founded Fort Vancouver in 1824. Dr. John McLoughlin, a medical prodigy turned fur trader, was eventually placed in charge of the Fort Vancouver Trading Post. He became known interchangeably as “the King of Old Oregon” or “Czar of the West.”

To honor the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Fort, the Fort Vancouver Centennial Corporation petitioned Congress for a commemorative coin. The proceeds from the sale of the coin were to help fund centennial celebrations in the present-day city of Vancouver. On February 25th, 1925, legislation was passed authorizing the mintage of up to 300,000 half dollars honoring the centennial. Laura Gardin Fraser was chosen to design the coin after the original artist’s designs were rejected. Her final design for the Vancouver half depicted a left-facing bust of McLoughlin taken from a sketch by John T. Urquhart. Encircling the bust at the periphery are the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR. Flanking the bust are the dates 1825 1925 and the legend IN GOD WE TRUST, with Dr. JOHN McLOUGHLIN below.

The reverse depicts a buckskin-suited trapper with rifle against a background featuring Mt. Hood, the Fort Vancouver stockade and the Columbia River. Around the rim is FORT VANCOUVER CENTENNIAL •VANCOUVER •WASHINGTON • FOUNDED •1825 • BY HUDSON’S BAY COMPANY. Although the coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint, the mint mark was left off in error.

While authorized to strike up to 300,000 pieces, only 50,000 coins were actually stuck. As a publicity stunt, these 50,000 coins, weighing some 1,462 pounds, were flown from San Francisco to Vancouver. This was the first round-trip airplane flight from San Francisco to Vancouver to be made in a single day. The coins were then offered at $1 a piece, with the majority selling at the week-long Centennial celebration that began August 17th. Sales were disappointing, however, and 35,034 coins were returned for melting, leaving a net mintage of 14,966.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 12/31/2015

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Total Graded: 2289
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

The chart showing 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: 2/18/2020 1925 50C FORT VANCOUVER MS

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1925 50C FORT VANCOUVER MS
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Grade: MS 68
Points: 9395
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4773
Owner: Gregg Bingham
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