Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 274,000
Obverse Designer: Chester Beach
Reverse Designer: Chester Beach
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5000g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $9.71 (6/17/2021)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
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1923 S MONROE 50C MS obverse 1923 S MONROE 50C MS reverse
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Description & Analysis

One of the coins with the most convoluted history is the 1923-S Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollar. Certainly, the Monroe Doctrine itself is deserving of national recognition. This foreign policy statement issued by President James Monroe in 1823 expressed in no uncertain terms that the U.S. would not tolerate European interference, control or influence in North and South America. However, the way the coin came about is odd to say the least. In the early 1920’s, Hollywood was reeling from multiple scandals. To help polish the studios’ tarnished reputations, the American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Historical Exposition was formed.

While searching for a way to raise funds, the Historical Exposition decided that a commemorative coin would do the trick, as well as have the additional benefit of generating much needed goodwill for the film industry. The Exposition decided that the Monroe Doctrine, written 100 years earlier in 1923, would make for a popular coin. Legislation passed on January 24th, 1923 authorized the minting of no more than 300,000 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollars.

Sculptor Chester Beach was selected to design the coin. The obverse is simple enough, and shows the conjoined busts of Monroe and his Secretary of State in 1823, John Quincy Adams. Surrounding the busts at the periphery are the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR. To their left is IN GOD WE TRUST, and to the right the date and mint mark.

The reverse was originally to be a simple depiction of North and South America. However, in place of the relief maps of the continents, Beach substituted two female figures which were contorted into a rough approximation of the shape of each land mass. The North American figure holds a branch in her left hand in the area of northern Canada while extending a twig to South America through Central America with her right hand. The South American figure holds a cornucopia with her right arm. The major ocean currents of the Atlantic and Pacific are also included, and apparently represent the flow of goods between the two continents, unimpeded by the European powers. In the lower left reverse field the centennial dates 1823-1923 flank both sides of a scroll and quill, symbols clearly intended to suggest the Monroe Doctrine. The inscriptions MONROE DOCTRINE CENTENNIAL and LOS ANGELES encircle the border. Struck in low relief, the design overall is uninspiring.

While 300,000 coins were authorized, only 274,000 were actually struck. The coins were sold for $1 each, although many were released into circulation at face value after sales fell well short of that number. Therefore, the net mintage was 274,000, and this issue is often found circulated.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 8/31/2018

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

1923 S 50C MONROE MS
  GVGFVFXF505355586061626364656667686970
Base $ - - 22.00 30.00 38.00 51.00 53.00 56.00 60.00 67.00 72.00 95.00 130 235 1250 3375 19000 25000 - -
$ - - - - - - - 105 185 320 1700 6400 - -

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: 3775
Low Grade: PrAg
Average Grade: 63
High Grade: 68

The chart showing PrAg series, G series, VG series, F series, 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: 6/15/2021 1923 S 50C MONROE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970Total
Base2--1136171111361221293431102415763496191--3775
--------------23511---12
--------------12687----42
---------------1-1----2
Total2--11361711113612212934311027160636270101--3831
 0%--0%0%0%0%0%0%1%3%0%2%11%27%42%9%2%0%0%-- 

NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1923 S 50C MONROE MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base6372818912315517120521222323726227835145076421793747469460401651130266
667584100134160182207216228245267302384555123627024063514395302109631779
0000001822072162282452673023845551236270240635143953000
00000019421021923225427332741765917073224437855911302100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6040
Owner: J & L
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 4063
Owner: Chippewa
 
View the Registry Image Gallery

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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.