Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 50,000
Obverse Designer: Brenda Putnam
Reverse Designer: Brenda Putnam
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.30 (5/29/2017)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1936 CLEVELAND 50C MS obverse 1936 CLEVELAND 50C MS reverse

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Description & Analysis

The 1936 Cleveland Centennial Half Dollar was struck to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the city, as well as they Great Lakes Exposition of 1936-1937. As opposed to the Cincinnati Commemorative which celebrated no true anniversary, Cleveland was actually incorporated 100 years prior in 1836. However, the same enterprising coin dealer who was behind the Cincinnati coin, Thomas G. Melish, was the man behind the Cleveland coin as well.

Melish, attempting to capitalize on commemorative coin fever, once again tried his best to have many different date and mint mark combinations (as well as multiple designs) authorized for the Cleveland coin. However, Congress had finally had enough of his profiteering, and restricted the coin to a single design, date, and mint mark. The bill authorizing the coin was passed on May 5th, 1936, allowing for no fewer than 25,000 and no greater than 50,000 coins to be minted.

The Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association selected sculptor Brenda Putnam to design the coin. Her sketches were accepted with only minor alterations. The obverse features the portrait of Moses Cleaveland facing left along with LIBERTY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and HALF DOLLAR. The reverse has an aerial view of the five cities of the Great Lakes, and around the periphery are GREAT LAKES EXPOSITION and CLEVELAND CENTENNIAL, separated by the tiny dates 1836 and 1936.

The first 25,000 coins authorized by the bill were minted in July of 1936, and were offered for sale on the grounds of the Exposition for $1.50 each. The coins proved popular and the remainder of the coins authorized by the bill was minted in 1937 (but with the date of 1936.) Therefore, the total mintage of this issue was the full 50,000.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/22/2017

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

Base $ - - 72.00 82.00 90.00 92.00 95.00 98.00 100.00 105 107 110 120 140 160 290 1700 9500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 130 150 175 425 2900 -

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Total Graded: 4871
Low Grade: 50
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
6/6/2005 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet-Only Auction #41, 45/Lot# 944 $149.50
5/28/2006 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg May 28-31, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 36/Lot# 413 $356.50
9/17/2008 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2008 September Long Beach, CA US Coin Signature Auction #1116, 1116/Lot# 10679 $138.00
1/19/2010 PCGS MS 67   Teletrade Auction 2800, 2800/Lot# 1067 $1,840.00
3/13/2011 PCGS MS 63   Teletrade Auction 3029, 3029/Lot# 1884 $92.00
5/29/2011 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131123/Lot# 29146 $138.00
6/30/2013 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/30/2013, 81/Lot# 123342 $660.00
8/30/2013 NGC MS 66   Stack's Bowers The September 2013 Philadelphia Auction, 195/Lot# 5019 $205.63

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 CLEVELAND 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6704
Owner: Gregg Bingham
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4767
Owner: Chippewa
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