Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 20,000
Catalog: KM-185
Obverse Designer: John Howard Benson & Arthur Graham Carey
Reverse Designer: John Howard Benson & Arthur Graham Carey
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.39 (10/27/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1936 RHODE ISLAND 50C MS obverse 1936 RHODE ISLAND 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Providence, Rhode Island was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams. Williams was a Puritan, and his unconventional beliefs including the ideas of separation of Church and State as well as religious freedom, brought him into conflict with the Massachusetts General Court. He was banished in 1635, and decided to start his own settlement. This colony, Providence, was a place where people were free to be who they were. In honor of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the city, the Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Tercentenary Committee was founded. They sought a coin commemorating the founding of Providence, and on May 2, 1935, a mintage of 50,000 coins from the three mints was authorized.

John Howard Benson, an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and silversmith Arthur Graham Carey were selected to design the coin. Their obverse features Roger Williams coming ashore in a small boat with a Bible in his hand. He is being greeted by a Native American whose hand is extended as if to help him disembark. A stalk of corn is to their left, and a sunset is seen behind them. IN GOD WE TRUST and RHODE ISLAND are on the top and bottom periphery, with 1636 and 1936 separating them at 9 and 3 o’ clock respectively. The reverse is dominated by a representation of the state seal of Rhode Island. The seal features a boat anchor at its center with the word HOPE above. E PLURIBUS UNUM is seen below, and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR are arranged around the periphery.

The Philadelphia Mint struck 20,000 coins in January, which was followed the following month by Denver and San Francisco’s minting of 15,000 each. They were to be distributed by the Rhode Island Hospital National Bank and prominent coin dealer Horace M. Grant. The demand seems to have met the supply in this coin’s case, as no coins were returned to the mint for melting.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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

Base $ - - - 65.00 83.00 85.00 88.00 90.00 95.00 98.00 100.00 105 115 125 205 360 1950 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 140 225 500 2300 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer



Total Graded: 2399
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 67

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
12/16/2003 PCGS MS 64   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23124, 23124/Lot# 12318 $93.15
8/21/2006 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 101, 106/Lot# 1055 $115.00
9/14/2008 NGC MS 66   Goldberg September 14-16, 2008 Pre-Long Beach Coin Auction, 48/Lot# 1158 $334.00
5/27/2012 PCGS MS 65   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19995/Lot# 1414 $163.00
6/3/2013 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 3433, 3433/Lot# 2413 $120.00
3/16/2014 NGC MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(1), 131412/Lot# 22521 $270.25
4/14/2014 NGC MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20816 $103.40
6/29/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 06/29/2014, 187/Lot# 191099 $185.00
1/6/2016 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2016 January 6 - 11 FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Tampa Session(1), 1231/Lot# 3398 $3,525.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 RHODE ISLAND 50C MS
1936 RHODE ISLAND 50C MS Prooflike
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6395
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 3651
Owner: Rob8
View the Registry Image Gallery

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