Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 18,000
Obverse Designer: William Marks Simpson
Reverse Designer: William Marks Simpson
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.66 (2/24/2017)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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: 11/29/2016

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

Base $ - - 260 345 500 550 565 575 600 650 660 680 750 785 850 1050 1600 9250 28500 -
$ - - - 590 640 - - - - - 925 1150 3100 14000

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Total Graded: 2691
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
9/15/1997 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 0980, 980/Lot# 1508 $463.25
9/13/2006 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions 2006 September Long Beach, CA Signature Auction #416, 416/Lot# 2631 $747.50
12/1/2008 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 305, 311/Lot# 1438 $920.00
4/27/2011 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2011 April Rosemont CSNS Signature & Platinum Night US Coin Auction Session(7), 1154/Lot# 12418 $805.00
5/29/2011 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg May 29 - June 1, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Auction of US, World Coins and Currency, 63/Lot# 1109 $862.50
12/15/2013 NGC MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/15/2013, 105/Lot# 157227 $632.50
7/11/2014 NGC   Stack's Bowers August 2014 Chicago ANA, 6014/Lot# 7120 $329.00
9/7/2016 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2016 September 7 - 11 Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(6), 1239/Lot# 9007 $517.00

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
View the Registry Image Gallery

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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