Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 13,000
Obverse Designer: Edward Everett Burr and Emily Bates
Reverse Designer: Edward Everett Burr and Emily Bates
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.30 (10/16/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1935 ARKANSAS 50C MS obverse 1935 ARKANSAS 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Arkansas half dollar is a good example of a worthy project discredited through greed and poor management. It follows in the footsteps of other commemorative issues of the time with multiple date and mint-mark combinations that infuriated collectors of the day.
The story of this coin all began with the grand plans for marking the state of Arkansas’ 100th anniversary in 1936 in the state capitol. Noting the success of other states in funding such events through the sale of commemorative coins, a similar plan was devised by a state-appointed group calling itself the Arkansas Centennial Commission.

This commission got right to work, and a bill was quickly passed on May 14th, 1934, authorizing the coinage of up to 500,000 half dollars honoring the centennial of the state. The language of the Arkansas bill conveniently omitted any reference to a place or date of coinage, yet it specified that the coins were to be delivered only to the Commission or its designated agent “at such times as they shall be requested.” With so generous an authorization, the Commission could and did request that Arkansas halves be coined at all three mints and in several consecutive years. If this weren’t enough to aggravate collectors (who naturally sought completeness in their sets), the Commission’s clumsy and sometimes suspect handling of distribution further fueled the fires of resentment surrounding this and other “serial” commemoratives.

The commission selected Edward Everett Burr to design the coin, and Emily Bates was to put the design into plaster. Unfortunately, the design of this issue was not well received. In fact, after the first models were delivered, the Fine Arts Commission requested that both the artist and sculptor be replaced. However, after some reworking, the design was eventually approved and sent to the Medallic Art Company of New York for reduction to hubs. The obverse of the coin features the conjoined busts of a Quapaw Indian and Lady Liberty. The reverse is emblazoned with a large eagle in front of a rising sun with the name Arkansas above.

A total of 10,000 coins were coined in Philadelphia in May of 1935. They sold well, and an additional 3,000 were ordered later in the year. At the advice of prominent coin dealer B. max Mehl, small mintages were ordered from the Denver and San Francisco Mints, to the tune of 5,500 coins each. They were supposedly available for purchase from the Arkansas Centennial Commission for just $1, but unfortunately most of them had already been secretly sold to Mehl, who then retailed them for $2.75 each. . Subsequent issues, offered annually through 1939, were subject to the same unfair manipulations at ever-higher mark-ups. Such practices ultimately brought down the wrath of Congress. It passed a law on August 5, 1939, terminating the re-issue of all previously-authorized commemoratives.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 6/14/2019

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

1935 ARKANSAS 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 55.00 60.00 92.00 97.00 97.00 100.00 100.00 105 115 115 115 130 155 350 2700 9000 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 140 240 600 6900 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 1203
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67

The chart showing 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: 10/8/2019 1935 ARKANSAS 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----------2123214148842010413---1203
-------------------2--2
----------------461---11
-----------------------
Total----------21232141488424110142--1216
 ----------0 %0 %0 %3 %12 %40 %35 %9 %1 %0 %-- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
8/16/1995 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions 1995 ANA Bullet Sale #141, 141/Lot# 1608 $187.00
4/25/2005 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Richmond Sale, Internet-Only Auction, 40/Lot# 872 $109.25
5/30/2012 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(5), 1171/Lot# 10788 $184.00
12/2/2012 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/02/2012, 51/Lot# 87510 $137.50
1/7/2013 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 3412, 3412/Lot# 1894 $150.00
7/4/2014 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3489, 6040/Lot# 21633 $138.65
9/22/2014 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg September 22-25, 2013 September Pre Long Beach, 75/Lot# 1848 $437.00
7/16/2017 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131730/Lot# 27605 $282.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1935 50C MS ARKANSAS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base151167186205237275292308320333345357372381409463642123938004565848815401
156173192216250281297312324337349362375390427523841209340555873107920
00000029731232433734936237539042752384120934055587300
000000303316329341353367378400445582104029464310718000
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3800
Owner: Randy Moss
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1239
Owner: Blaster
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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