Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: Philadelphia
Mintage: 15,251
Catalog: KM-191
Obverse Designer: Gertrude K. Lathrop
Reverse Designer: Gertrude K. Lathrop
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.73 (2/14/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
Link to this coin

1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS obverse 1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS reverse


  
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There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

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: 7/24/2015

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

1938 NEW ROCHELLE 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - 175 240 320 335 345 355 365 385 400 415 440 520 715 1700 12500 - -
$ - - - - - - - - 500 600 900 3850 -

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Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 2483
Low Grade: 58
Average Grade: 65
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
11/13/1996 NGC MS 66   Teletrade Auction 0893, 893/Lot# 1639 $517.75
3/21/2006 NGC MS 64   Heritage Auctions Exclusively Internet Auction #26034, 26034/Lot# 11294 $345.00
5/28/2006 PCGS MS 67   Goldberg May 28-31, 2006 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 36/Lot# 3251 $1,840.00
5/30/2012 PCGS MS 65   Heritage Auctions 2012 May 30- June 3 US Coins Signature Auction- Long Beach Session(5), 1171/Lot# 10973 $345.00
3/9/2014 NGC MS 64   David Lawrence Rare Coins Internet Auction # 794, 803/Lot# 745 $340.00
5/12/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3481, 6030/Lot# 20838 $405.38
10/12/2014 PCGS MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 10/12/2014, 190/Lot# 159903 $464.00
7/9/2015 PCGS MS 67   Heritage Auctions 2015 July 9 - 12 Summer FUN US Coins Signature Auction - Orlando Summer FUN Session(4), 1222/Lot# 8111 $998.75


NGC Registry

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