Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 25,000
Obverse Designer: Henry G. Kreis
Reverse Designer: Henry G. Kreis
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.25 (5/26/2017)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1936 BRIDGEPORT 50C MS obverse 1936 BRIDGEPORT 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The Bridgeport Centennial half dollar was coined in 1936 to commemorate 100 years since the incorporation of the city (which was actually founded nearly 200 years earlier in 1639.) While P.T. Barnum is featured prominently on the obverse of the coin, it’s the city, not the man, being honored. Barnum merely called the city his home, but the group of civic leaders which organized the commemorative, Bridgeport Centennial, Inc. knew Barnum’s image would help sell coins.

Unlike other commemorative issues of this era, the May 15th, 1936 bill which authorized the coin only called for a single design, date, and mint-mark. This is in stark opposition to the serialized commemorative issues that were all the rage at the time. Sculptor Henry G. Kreiss, who also designed the Connecticut Tercentenary the year before, was selected to design both sides of the coin. As he had already designed a coin the previous year, the Commission of Fine Arts only had to make minor changes to his designs.

In September, 25,000 pieces were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The coins were distributed for $2 each through the First National Bank and Trust Co. as well as select other banks. Even though the Bridgeport half had a high release price and arrived after most centennial celebrations, the coin sold well with the public and collectors alike. The few thousand left over at the end were wholesaled to dealers, and hoards of this coin remained intact as late as 1972. None were ever returned for melting, so the net mintage for this type is 25,000.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 11/30/2016

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Base $ - - 83.00 100.00 105 108 110 115 120 130 140 150 160 175 245 480 2050 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 200 265 750 3050 -

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Total Graded: 3110
Low Grade: 55
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/6/1995 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions February 1995 Long Beach Sale #130, 130/Lot# 6004 $121.00
8/17/1996 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 1996 ANA Signature Sale #163, 163/Lot# 8644 $825.00
4/11/2004 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1868, 1868/Lot# 1265 $165.00
11/14/2005 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #62, 67/Lot# 1084 $862.50
5/25/2008 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg May 25-27, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 47/Lot# 4234 $3,565.00
6/16/2013 NGC MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/16/2013, 79/Lot# 121795 $198.00
10/10/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers November Baltimore 2014, 6039/Lot# 16005 $88.13
12/7/2014 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131450/Lot# 26322 $199.75

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 BRIDGEPORT 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 5872
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3229
Owner: Richard Schultz
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