Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 71,369
Obverse Designer: Jacques Schnier
Reverse Designer: Jacques Schnier
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $9.37 (6/19/2021)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1936 S BAY BRIDGE 50C MS obverse 1936 S BAY BRIDGE 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

Very few classic United States commemorative coins were struck in order to mark an achievement in the field of engineering. The 1915-S Panama-Pacific International Exposition coins may be included within this small group, as they commemorate the world’s fair which itself celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal. The only coin dedicated solely to recognition of an engineering triumph, however, is the 1936-S half dollar issued to mark the opening of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in November of that year.

By the 1930’s, San Francisco was a bustling city of over 600,000 residents. Unfortunately, it was geographically isolated on the tip of a long peninsula, meaning that ferries were often used to traverse San Francisco Bay. The idea for a several-mile long bridge to cross the bay was proposed as early as the 1920’s, but the tipping point came during the depression. The need for new jobs helped propel the project into fruition. Construction of the bridge commenced on July 9, 1933 and was completed during the latter months of 1936. The grand opening was held the weekend of November 12-14, with a long line of motorists and pedestrians eagerly awaiting their turn to cross. Although not ready for opening day, among the souvenirs available a week later were the United States half dollars, coined at the San Francisco Mint and bearing (literally!) a design which honored the engineering achievement.

The coin’s design was executed by Jacques Schnier, a Romanian immigrant then living in Oakland. The Commission of Fine Arts reviewed his designs, and after only a few minor changes they were approved. The obverse of the coin is dominated by a grizzly bear, which is a symbol of the state The reverse is a highly stylized view of the newly completed bridge as seen from San Francisco. A ferry building is seen in the foreground, which was to offer the juxtaposition of the old and new ways of transport.


The coins were sold at several locations in the Bay Area at the price of $1.50 each. Perhaps the most novel of sales locations was the bridge’s toll booths themselves. Even with interest in the commemorative coin series dropping, sales were quite decent, with 71,369 of the 100,000 coins minted sold.


GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 2/7/2020

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

1936 S 50C BAY BRIDGE MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 80.00 95.00 125 130 135 140 160 160 165 175 185 225 265 415 950 14750 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 235 320 500 3000 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The prices listed in the various NGC Price and Value Guides are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. Prices provided are averages, not specific prices for individual coins. Further, because these prices are only updated from time to time, they do not reflect short term pricing trends, which are quite common and are often quite dramatic, given the volatile nature of the collectible coin marketplace. This is especially true for rare coins, where there are fewer sales and greater variations in sale prices. For all of these reasons, the prices in these guides are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and factors that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and — when appropriate — expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Guides. By using the NGC Guides, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the Guides.

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 3934
Low Grade: 55
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

The chart showing 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: 6/15/2021 1936 S 50C BAY BRIDGE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base---------172911612630712151515606957--3934
-----------------355--13
---------------31810---22
------------------1---1
Total---------17291161263071218151661711112--3970
 ---------0%1%0%0%3%8%31%38%16%3%0%-- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 S 50C BAY BRIDGE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base230255278304351463477477502515527539551575597653838115925556473692012286
238263287320388468477485506519531543559582616715945162438616622870912900
00000047748550651953154355958261671594516243861662200
000000477494511523535547567590634776105220905167677100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6667
Owner: Chippewa
 
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6622
Owner: Gregg Bingham
 
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NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

NGC Auction Central Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The auction prices realized listed in the NGC Auction Central are compiled from a number of independent, third party sources in the numismatic community which NGC believes to be reliable. The auction data listed by NGC may occasionally contain typographical or input errors that can result in incorrect prices realized appearing on the NGC website. Therefore, the prices realized listed in NGC Auction Central are designed to serve merely as one of many measures and facts that coin buyers and sellers can use in determining coin values. These prices are not intended, and should not be relied upon, to replace the due diligence and – when appropriate – expert consultation that coin buyers and sellers should undertake when entering into a coin transaction. As such, NGC disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information contained in the NGC Auction Central. By using the NGC Auction Central, the user agrees that neither NGC nor any of its affiliates, shareholders, officers, employees or agents shall have any liability for any loss or damage of any kind, including without limitation any loss arising from reliance on the information contained in the NGC Auction Central.