Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 140,592
Obverse Designer: John Frederick Lewis and John Ray Sinnock
Reverse Designer: John Frederick Lewis and John Ray Sinnock
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $9.18 (1/28/2021)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1926 AMERICAN SESQUICENTENNIAL 50C MS obverse 1926 AMERICAN SESQUICENTENNIAL 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

July 4th, 1926 marked the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. To mark this important anniversary, the National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Association envisioned the release an entire series of commemorative coins. This plan was eventually pared back to just two coins however, a half dollar, and a $2.5 quarter eagle gold piece. The bill passed by Congress on March 3rd, 1925, authorized the striking of up to on million half dollars and 200,000 gold quarter eagles.

The chief sculptor-engraver of the U.S. Mint, John Ray Sinnock, was entrusted to design the coins. While his models for the quarter eagle were deemed satisfactory, the Exhibition Association didn’t approve of his half dollar designs. Therefore, they called on John Frederick Lewis, a local patron of the arts to sketch a design. These sketches were given to Sinnock who then translated them to the models.

The obverse of the half dollar features overlapping right-facing busts of George Washington, the nation's first president, and Calvin Coolidge, the White House's occupant at the time of the sesquicentennial. This design caused an uproar at the time as most people did not want living individuals depicted on U.S. coins. These portraits are surrounded by a multitude of coinage mottos. LIBERTY is above, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is below, and IN GOD WE TRUST is in tiny letters to the right. The coin's reverse features a straightforward view of the Liberty Bell, with the dual dates 1776 and 1926 to the left and right, respectively. Above the bell is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Circling the rim, within an interior border, are the inscriptions SESQUICENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE and HALF DOLLAR. This reverse would reappear, in modified form, 22 years later on the Franklin half dollar.

For a reason lost to history, the designs are in extremely low relief, leading to one of the most poorly struck coins that the U.S. Mint has ever created. This low relief is rather unattractive, and undoubtedly hurt sales. Out of the 1,000,000 coins minted in May and June of 1926, only 140,592 were sold at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia held from June through November of that year. The remaining 859,408 coins were returned to the Mint to be melted.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 1/28/2020

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

1926 50C AMERICAN SESQUICENTENNIAL MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 40.00 50.00 75.00 78.00 82.00 91.00 100.00 110 120 150 235 1550 22000 - - - -
$ - - - - - - - - 175 440 3750 30000 - -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 4553
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.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 1/26/2021 1926 50C AMERICAN SESQUICENTENNIAL MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base23113511612361371212065014101841276261---4553
-------------1-576----19
--------------123133----40
-----------------1----1
Total23113511612361371212065114111869296361---4613
 0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%1%3%0%3%14%31%41%6%1%0%--- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1926 50C AMERICAN SESQUICENTENNIAL MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base106119131147163201220288298311327351366381515820307534477756114832808251550
1101231361521762072432913023163353563714266171572319948838998170163590554128
00000024329130231633535637142661715723199488389981701600
000000265295307322343361376470718232333236320102412254900
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 66
Points: 4883
Owner: J & L
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 3447
Owner: South Texas Coins
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.