Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 15,251
Obverse Designer: Gertrude K. Lathrop
Reverse Designer: Gertrude K. Lathrop
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.36 (10/20/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Link to this coin

1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS obverse 1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The 1938 New Rochelle half dollar is another example of a commemorative coin issue honoring a strictly local anniversary. In this case, the 250th anniversary of the settlement of New Rochelle, New York was being honored. The city was a wealthy suburb of New York City, and that wealth likely helped the sponsor of the bill, the Westchester County Coin Club, get the legislation passed. A bill signed into law on May 5th, 1936 authorized the minting of up to 25,000 coins of a single date and mintmark.

Originally chosen to design the new coin was sculptor Lorrilard Wise. Unfortunately, his designs were lackluster in the eyes of the Commission of Fine Arts, and he was soon replaced by Gertrude K. Lathrop, who had experience in producing designs for coins and medals. Her obverse depicts John Pell, who sold the land that would become New Rochelle to the colonists. One of the terms of that deal included a “fatt calfe” to be delivered to Lord Pell on the 4th and 20th day of June every year.

In honor of that odd request in the sale, a calf was included in the obverse design and is shown being led by Pell. Arranged in arcs around the periphery are the legends NEW • ROCHELLE • NEW • YORK and SETTLED • 1688 • INCORPORATED • 1899. The reverse design is dominated by the fleur de lis, an element from the city’s coat of arms. Arranged in arcs around the periphery are the statutory inscriptions UNITED • STATES • OF • AMERICA, E • PLURIBUS • UNUM, LIBERTY and IN • GOD • WE • TRUST. The date 1938 and value HALF • DOLLAR appear at the bottom in two lines.

The entire authorized mintage of 25,000 coins was struck in April of 1937 (but with the date 1938.) The coins were sold locally for $2 each, but most went to mail orders. Although the speculative market for commemorative coins all but collapsed in 1937, the New Rochelle coin sold relatively well. In the end, 9,749 coins were melted, leaving a net mintage of 15,251 coins.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 4/15/2019

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

1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 175 240 280 285 290 295 305 360 360 360 365 365 390 515 1170 11050 - -
$ - - - - - - - - - 370 430 595 3850 -
1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS Prooflike
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - - - - - - - - - - - - 600 1175 2000 5300 - - -
$ - - - - - - - - - - - 2350 8250 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2592
Low Grade: VF
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68

The chart showing VF series, 40 series, 45 series, 50 series, 53 series, 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: 10/8/2019 1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base----1-----2-1128759210535548614--2402
----------------25214--32
---------------161321--23
---------------1--51--7
Total----1-----2-11287594106157211420--2464
 ----0 %-----0 %-0 %0 %4 %24 %43 %23 %5 %1 %-- 
1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base-------------111485758141--190
----------------1--1--2
-----------------11---2
-----------------------
Total-------------111485859152--194
 -------------1 %6 %25 %30 %30 %8 %1 %-- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
4/24/1996 PCGS MS 65   Teletrade Auction 0835, 835/Lot# 651 $261.60
2/24/2003 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg February 24-25, 2003 Coin Auction, 17/Lot# 1102 $1,552.50
9/9/2003 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23093, 23093/Lot# 12518 $603.75
7/7/2011 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2011 July Orlando Summer FUN Signature US Coin Auction Session(5), 1157/Lot# 10218 $373.75
10/17/2012 PCGS   Stack's Bowers The November 2012 Baltimore Auction - US and World Lots - Live and Internet Only Sessions, 144/Lot# 25507 $282.00
7/20/2014 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 813, 822/Lot# 857 $500.00
9/7/2014 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/07/2014, 191/Lot# 218903 $433.00
8/10/2016 NGC MS 65   Prooflike Heritage Auctions 2016 August 10 - 14 ANA US Coins Signature Auction - Anaheim Session(6), 1238/Lot# 8708 $881.25
12/13/2018 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2018 December 13-14 US Coins Signature Auction Session(4), 1282/Lot# 8268 $720.00


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1938 50C MS NEW ROCHELLE Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base4775175586047529119219409589759931010102710511076111511381213230239021003617582
490531573653805914927946964981999101610351059108911231163157628355947125510
00000092794696498199910161035105910891123116315762835594700
000000934952969987100410211043106811021130118819393369799100
1938 50C MS NEW ROCHELLE
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base445482522563705856865882900916933949966990101310511166141022685656888915533
457495536610755859871888905922938955974998102610891247169633976734111040
00000087188890592293895597499810261089124716963397673400
000000876894911927944960982100510381128132919824527781100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6734
Owner: Gregg Bingham
 
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6734
Owner: J & L
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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