Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 20,978
Catalog: KM-179
Obverse Designer: Carl L. Schmitz
Reverse Designer: Carl L. Schmitz
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $6.38 (4/28/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1936 DELAWARE 50C MS obverse 1936 DELAWARE 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

The 1936 Delaware Tercentenary half dollar was struck in commemoration of the first European community to take hold and thrive in the state. While this technically occurred in 1638, apparently the Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Commission thought that 1936 was close enough. Considering Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution of the fledgling United States, the 300th anniversary of the first settlement there was clearly a worthy cause for commemoration.

Legislation was passed on May 15th, 1936 which authorized no less that 25,000 coins to be struck at a single mint with a single date. Clearly the coin was not, unlike many other commemoratives of the era, to be a greed-driven venture. The commission then set to work finding a design. Instead of simply hiring a known artist, an open competition was held, which brought in 40 entries vying for a $500 prize. The competition was judged by the Mint’s Chief Engraver John R. Sinnock and by noted sculptor Dr. Robert Tait McKenzie. Carl L. Schmitz, a German-American who was born in France, was selected for his designs featuring two important motifs from Delaware history.

The obverse features the Swedish ship the Kalmar Nykel which transported the first immigrants to Delaware. Below it is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM and the legend LIBERTY. Arranged in arcs around the periphery are DELAWARE TERCENTENARY and the commemorative dates 1638 1938. These inscriptions are separated by three diamonds, a reference to Delaware’s motto “The Diamond State” and to its three counties. The reverse is dominated by an elevation view of the Old Swedes Church, claimed to be the oldest remaining Protestant house of worship in the United States. Above it are the Sun’s rays piercing through a cloud, while below are the motto IN GOD WE TRUST and the intended date of coining, 1936. Arranged around the periphery are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and HALF DOLLAR.

A total of 25,000 Delaware halves were coined in March of 1937 in Philadelphia. They were sold by the Commission for $1.75 each, a relatively high issue price for commemorative halves of the era. 4,022 pieces failed to sell and were returned to the mint for melting, which leaves a net mintage of only 20,978 pieces for the issue.

GRADE SUMMARY

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Price Guide

Last Updated: 7/24/2015

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

1936 DELAWARE 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - 170 195 210 220 230 235 245 265 275 290 310 385 775 1675 11000 - -
$ - - - - - - - 300 330 425 1000 4900 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2893
Low Grade: 53
Average Grade: 64
High Grade: 68


Upcoming Auctions


Auction Prices Realized

A random selection of coins is shown below.

Images
Date
Service
Grade
Auction House
Sale / Lot
Price
6/24/2003 NGC MS 65   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #23071, 23071/Lot# 14626 $264.50
2/28/2008 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Thursday - Internet Auction # 226, 232/Lot# 6718 $230.00
1/30/2011 PCGS MS 65   Goldberg January 30 - February 3, 2011 The Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 62/Lot# 1869 $299.00
4/26/2011 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 3055, 3055/Lot# 1101 $236.00
12/8/2013 PCGS MS 64   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 12/08/2013, 104/Lot# 156130 $182.60
6/16/2014 PCGS MS 65   Stack's Bowers iAuciton 3486, 6035/Lot# 20904 $232.65
8/8/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3494, 6045/Lot# 21488 $358.38
10/8/2014 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2014 October 8 - 13 PNG New York Invitational US Coins Signature Auction - New York Session(6), 1210/Lot# 9443 $381.88


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1936 DELAWARE 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base434471510551620661665672692707727741754774802838990147722155702862715190
4464845245746346626676796977147327457617838148891152172333776677108150
000000667679697714732745761783814889115217233377667700
000000670685702720736750767793826939131519694540765200
1936 DELAWARE 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base46650554613691456154715951642167216921722174118451953206521832305243326103902975117207
47951982013981486156316111652167917021728177618811990210422242348249230415852122360
0000001611165216791702172817761881199021042224234824923041585200
0000001626166216851712173518101917202821442264239025513471780100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 68
Points: 6677
Owner: J & L
 
Grade: MS 67
Points: 4540
Owner: Chippewa
 
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