Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 18,000
Catalog: KM-190
Obverse Designer: William Marks Simpson
Reverse Designer: William Marks Simpson
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.36 (10/23/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1937 ANTIETAM 50C MS obverse 1937 ANTIETAM 50C MS reverse

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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Unlike many of its contemporaries, the Antietam half dollar commemorates an event that was of truly national significance. The Battle of Antietam, which occurred on September 17th of 1862, is remembered as the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War. In total, nearly 5,000 were killed, and 20,000 were wounded.

The coinage of this commemorative was prompted by the Washington County Historical Society of Hagerstown, Maryland, which designated an Antietam Celebration Commission to co-ordinate events marking the battle’s 75th anniversary in 1937. A bill authorizing the coinage of no more than 50,000 Antietam half dollars was passed on June 24 of that year. Recognizing the abuses perpetrated by other coin programs, this legislation specifically required that the coins be struck with a single design and at a single mint.

Baltimore sculptor William Marks Simpson was selected to design and model the coin. Simpson was also the creator of commemorative halves for Roanoke and Norfolk. His models for the Antietam half dollar were reviewed favorably by the Commission of Fine Arts. The obverse depicts the generals of the two armies involved, George B. McClellan and Robert E. Lee on the obverse. The reverse features a view of a bridge over Antietam Creek which was the focus of the fighting in 1862.

The entire authorized mintage of 50,000 pieces was struck in August of 1937 at the Philadelphia Mint. The first struck was offered to President Franklin Roosevelt on August 12 of that year, and the remainder were offered by the Washington County Historical Society at $1.65 a piece. Despite the significant theme of the coin, they were poor sellers, and 32,000 were returned to the mint to be destroyed. This left a net mintage of merely 18,000 coins.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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

Base $ - - 260 345 520 550 565 575 600 675 700 720 735 785 950 1125 1765 11750 - -
$ - - - 590 640 - - - - 850 1050 1250 1900 -

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Total Graded: 2684
Low Grade: 55
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 69

Upcoming Auctions

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
2/23/2009 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 2657, 2657/Lot# 1822 $805.00
1/31/2010 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg January 31 - February 3, 2010 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 57/Lot# 1561 $776.25
2/22/2013 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers The March 2013 Baltimore Auction, 181/Lot# 8199 $646.25
6/5/2013 NGC MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2013 June 5 - 9 US Coin Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(4), 1186/Lot# 5219 $940.00
8/18/2013 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 08/18/2013, 88/Lot# 129637 $881.10
8/25/2013 PCGS MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 766, 775/Lot# 5267 $753.00
7/6/2014 PCGS MS 65   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 07/06/2014, 188/Lot# 136211 $725.00

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1937 ANTIETAM 50C MS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 69
Points: 5158
Owner: Gregg Bingham
Grade: MS 69
Points: 5158
Owner: J & L
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Related Articles

From the NGC Archives: 1937 Battle of Antietam Half Dollar

11/16/2010 — The Battle of Antietam Creek, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, occurred on September 17, 1862.
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