Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 3,814
Obverse Designer: Pompeo Coppini
Reverse Designer: Pompeo Coppini
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.36 (10/21/2019)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1938 S TEXAS 50C MS obverse 1938 S TEXAS 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

The Texas Centennial Half Dollar was struck in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Texas declaring its independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836 during the Battle of the Alamo. Recognizing the significance of this anniversary, on June 15th, 1933, Congress approved the first commemorative coin legislation since 1928. It provided for the mintage of up to 1,500,000 souvenir half dollars to be sold as part of the centennial celebration. Proceeds from the coin were to be used to help construct a memorial building.

Sculptor Pompeo Coppini was selected to design the coin. In May of 1934, his models were approved by the American Legion Texas Centennial Committee. Although all of the many elements on the finished coin were already in place, they were rendered in an extremely crude fashion. The Commission of Fine Arts requested many changes, to which Coppini agreed. The final designs were approved a month later, on June 25th, 1934.

On the obverse, an Eagle is seen perched on a branch in front of a five-pointed star, the symbol of Texas. UNITED - STATES - OF – AMERICA is placed around the periphery of the coin, with HALF DOLLAR bellow, as well as the mottos IN GOD WE TRUST, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. While that may sound like a busy design, it has nothing on the reverse, which was one of the most complicated and intricate designs of the entire commemorative series. The main feature of the reverse is a kneeling goddess Victory with an olive branch in her right hand, and her left resting on the Alamo. Above is the word LIBERTY on a scroll, behind which are six flags. Beneath Victory’s wingtips are portraits of Texas war heroes Sam Houston and Stephen Austin. THE TEXAS INDEPENCED CENTENNIAL and REMEMBER THE ALAMO encircle the design. The reverse contains nearly no field whatsoever, as almost every area is taken up by a design element.

Mintage of the 1934 issue started off strong, with 205,000 pieces. However, sales lagged and a large portion of these were eventually returned and melted, leaving a net of 61,463 for the year, all from the Philadelphia Mint. The numbers dropped off significantly in 1935, with only around 10,000 coins being minted at each of the 3 mints. The numbers dropped again by about 10% in 1936, and by 25% in 1937 as collectors grew tired of having to buy more and more coins with the same design but differing dates and mint marks. 1938 was the last year for the Texas Centennial Half, with only about 3800 sets sold. Due to the ever lowering mintages as the Texas Centennial Half program progressed, a safe rule of thumb is that the later the issue year, the more valuable the coin. In fact, the 1938 issues are often worth nearly double those of the much more common 1934! Though its exploitation of the commemorative coin privilege was deplored by collectors, to its credit this committee did ultimately erect the promised memorial museum at the University of Texas in Austin.


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Price Guide

Last Updated: 3/22/2019

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1938 S TEXAS 50C MS
Base $ - - - 90.00 175 185 185 200 210 230 254 266 286 325 390 650 1650 12100 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 290 360 525 920 4500 -

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Total Graded: 887
Low Grade: 62
Average Grade: 65
High Grade: 69

The chart showing 62 series, 63 series, 64 series, 65 series, 66 series, 67 series, 68 series, 69 series.
NGC CENSUS DETAIL Last Updated: 10/8/2019 1938 S TEXAS 50C MS
 -------------0 %3 %16 %36 %31 %12 %1 %0 %- 

Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Auction House
Sale / Lot
5/8/1996 NGC MS 64   Teletrade Auction 0839, 839/Lot# 682 $163.50
2/5/2007 NGC MS 66   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 125, 130/Lot# 2308 $661.25
5/27/2009 NGC MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2009 May Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1125, 1125/Lot# 9220 $747.50
12/16/2011 PCGS MS 68   Bonhams Coins and Medals, 19430/Lot# 1088 $14,040.00
9/2/2012 NGC MS 66   Goldberg September 2-5, 2012 The September 2-5, 2012, 70/Lot# 1066 $391.00
10/28/2012 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/28/2012, 46/Lot# 81667 $522.50
9/25/2013 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2013 September 25 - 29 US Coins Signature Auction - Long Beach Session(3), 1189/Lot# 4498 $1,116.25
12/5/2014 PCGS MS 64   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3511, 6080/Lot# 20699 $223.25
7/19/2015 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction Session(2), 131530/Lot# 27999 $528.75

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1938 50C MS S TEXAS
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6388
Owner: J & L
Grade: MS 67
Points: 2233
Owner: Jim Bazzell
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