Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 26,900
Obverse Designer: Frank Vittor
Reverse Designer: Frank Vittor
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.38 (10/19/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS obverse 1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Battle of Gettysburg, which occurred from July 1st-3rd of 1863, was one of the deadliest fights of the Civil War and marks the beginning of the long and painful Confederate withdrawal and ultimate defeat in 1865. In observance of the battle’s 75th anniversary, the Pennsylvania State Commission sought to have a commemorative coin issued to honor the memory of those who fought and died. They were successful, and legislation was passed on June 16, 1936 which called for the minting of no more than 50,000 half dollars commemorating the battle.

The Commission hired Philadelphia sculptor Frank Vittor to design the coin. In a departure from most of the commemorative coin programs of the era, Vittor’s original models were well-received by the Commission of Fine Arts from the onset. One of the only major issues that the Commission had with the coin was the similarity between the Union and Confederate soldiers on the obverse. This might have actually been an intentional nod towards the Civil War theme of brother against brother and was not changed. Final approval of the design was given on March 24th, 1937. The dies were then prepared in Philadelphia, and the maximum mintage of 50,000 was produced at the Mint there in June.

Vittor’s obverse design portrays conjoined busts of Union and Confederate veterans in uniform facing right. Above are the mottoes LIBERTY and E•PLURIBUS•UNUM. Arranged in arcs around the periphery are the legends UNITED• STATES•OF•AMERICA and BLUE•AND• GRAY• REUNION, separated by stars. The reverse is dominated by Union and Confederate shields, separated from one another by fasces. Wrapped around these elements are branches of oak and olive, perhaps symbolizing war and peace. The date 1936 appears below; this was specified in the enabling act, though it has no other relevance to this coin. Below the date is the value •HALF•DOLLAR•, while above the shields is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, separated by the blades of the fasces. Around the periphery are the inscriptions 75TH•ANNIVERSARY and BATTLE•OF•GETTYSBURG and the dates 1863 and 1938, all separated by stars.

The coins were originally sold for $1.65 a piece by the Pennsylvania State Commission during late 1937 and continuing through the Blue and Gray Reunion of July, 1938. After the event, the remaining coins were transferred to the American Legion in Pennsylvania. In attempt to make the coin seem more desirable, the price was raised to $2.65. Unfortunately, this didn’t help sales, and the remaining 23,100 pieces were returned to the mint for melting, leaving a net mintage of 26,900 for this now-popular issue.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/1/2019

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1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 225 275 345 390 390 410 440 465 470 485 550 610 865 1200 2400 42500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 575 650 1000 1630 4000 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 3494
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: 10/8/2019 1936 GETTYSBURG 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base1---11--1320-1510127213331338342642--3494
-----------------161--8
---------------6286---22
------------------2---2
Total1---11--1320-1510127213391340351783--3526
 0 %---0 %0 %--0 %0 %1 %-0 %3 %8 %38 %38 %10 %2 %0 %-- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
7/9/2001 PCGS MS 66   Teletrade Auction 1457, 1457/Lot# 1551 $735.75
9/10/2006 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg September 10-13, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 37/Lot# 3338 $2,760.00
9/20/2010 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Banknotes, 18602/Lot# 1476 $936.00
1/3/2012 NGC Details UNC Details  Heritage Auctions 2012 January 4-8 US Coins & Platinum Night FUN Signature Auction- Orlando Session(10), 1166/Lot# 13176 $373.75
12/8/2013 PCGS Genuine UNC   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/08/2013, 104/Lot# 156140 $360.80
6/3/2014 PCGS   Stack's Bowers June 2014 Baltimore, 6021/Lot# 4684 $364.25
10/12/2014 PCGS MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 825, 834/Lot# 782 $825.00
9/7/2016 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2016 September 7 - 11 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1239/Lot# 9024 $581.63


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 50C MS GETTYSBURG
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4154504875276538749089419589669901005102810881173123916091886286099181022217934
4274625005697278859199479619749951013104811161195136217012211521310019127930
000000919947961974995101310481116119513621701221152131001900
0000009309529639821000102010681145121714861794253575651012100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 2860
Owner: Bruce Young
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1886
Owner: Alex J. Llorente
 
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