Coin Specifications

Category: Silver Commemoratives (1892-1954)
Mint: San Francisco
Mintage: 8,000
Catalog: KM-200
Obverse Designer: Isaac Scott Hathaway
Reverse Designer: Isaac Scott Hathaway
Composition: Silver
Fineness: 0.9000
Weight: 12.5g
ASW: 0.3617oz
Melt Value: $5.73 (2/12/2016)
Diameter: 30.6mm
Edge: Reeded
Numismatic specification data provided by Krause Publications NumisMaster.
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1952 S WASHINGTON-CARVER 50C MS obverse 1952 S WASHINGTON-CARVER 50C MS reverse


  
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VarietyPlus®

There are no NGC varieties for this coin.

Description & Analysis

Booker T. Washington was one of the leading figures in the charge to educate freed slaves during the reconstruction era. Being a free slave himself, he believed that the key to African Americans’ future success was through learning practical skills. Though his emphasis on manual skills as the ticket to advancement for his race drew criticism from those favoring a more balanced education for African Americans, it’s evident that his approach was perhaps better suited to the American social climate of its time. But Booker T. Washington’s ceaseless, pioneering efforts helped to ease white America into a greater acceptance of their fellow Americans.

George Washington Carver too was inexorably linked with slavery (his parents were former slaves,) and like Washington, did not let that fact keep him down. He was quite intelligent, and after a boyhood growing up learning about plants and botany, he pursued that field in higher education. He eventually graduated with a B.S. from the Iowa State College of Agriculture in 1894. He used this degree to great affect, discovering numerous uses for peanuts, soybeans, and sweet potatoes; crops that were once considered worthless. His research helped many farmers in the south deal with problems such as soil depletion and the boll weevil, which destroyed the cotton industry.

The George Washington Carver National Monument Foundation spearheaded the push to commemorate Carver’s life with a commemorative coin in 1951. A bill passed on September 21, 1951 authorized the mintage of up to 3,415,631 coins. This odd maximum mintage number was derived from the remaining 1,581,631 Booker T. Washington half dollars which could be melted and struck as Washington-Carver coins plus the unused quantity 1,834,000 earlier authorized for the Booker T. Washington coins. The design for this coin was created by sculptor Isaac Scott Hathaway, who had performed the same work for the B. T. Washington issue.

The Washington-Carver Half Dollar depicts conjoined busts of the two men facing right, with Carver in the foreground. Their names are arranged in arcs around their busts, the names divided above by LIBERTY and below by the value HALF DOLLAR. Framing the periphery are the legends UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above and IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM below. If this sounds overly congested, it is, and the pitiful little date of coining is wedged uncomfortably between this lettering to left of Carver’s portrait. On the reverse is a map of the continental United States. For those coin buyers who might not recognize it, the letters U. S. A. are superimposed atop it. Around the periphery are the phrases FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL above and AMERICANISM below. For coins minted at Denver and San Francisco, their mintmark letters appear below the map.

Three-coin sets of the new Washington-Carver coins with mintages of roughly 8,000-12,000 pieces were produced every year from 1951 through 1954, with additional large quantities struck of the 1951(P), 1952(P), 1953-S and 1954-S coins for sale as singles. As the program expired in 1954 it drew few mourners. American coin collectors were bored with commemorative coins in general and with the serial ones in particular. The Booker T. Washington and Washington-Carver Halves were among the least desired at that time, and many thousands were returned to the Mint for melting, while thousands more were sold to speculators at just pennies above face value by the banks holding them as collateral.

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.

1952 S WASHINGTON-CARVER 50C MS
  GVGFVFXF5053555861626364656667686970
Base $ - - - 16.00 16.25 19.50 21.00 23.00 25.00 33.00 45.00 55.00 65.00 95.00 575 9500 - - -
$ - - - - - - - 60.00 75.00 130 1250 13950 -

NGC Price and Value Guides Disclaimer

Census

 
NGC GRADE SUMMARY

Total Graded: 670
Low Grade: 62
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
10/16/2000 PCGS MS 64   Teletrade Auction 1367, 1367/Lot# 1559 $29.75
2/11/2007 PCGS MS 66   Goldberg February 11-14, 2007 Pre-Long Beach Coin and Currency Auction, 39/Lot# 1930 $1,265.00
12/4/2008 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions 2008 December Houston, TX Signature Coin Auction #1118, 1118/Lot# 10256 $431.25
3/9/2009 NGC MS 65   David Lawrence Rare Coins Monday - Internet Auction # 344, 350/Lot# 1314 $80.50
1/24/2010 PCGS MS 66   Heritage Auctions Internet Coin Auction #210021, 210021/Lot# 20764 $299.00
11/3/2010 NGC MS 67   Stack's Bowers The November 2010 Baltimore Auction, 44/Lot# 4474 $3,795.00
9/9/2012 NGC MS 66   GreatCollections GreatCollections Coin Auctions 09/09/2012, 39/Lot# 59748 $401.50
4/14/2014 PCGS MS 66   Stack's Bowers iAuction 3477, 6026/Lot# 20789 $240.88


NGC Registry

NGC Registry Score 1952 S WASHINGTON-CARVER 50C MS
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base37455054636767818594102119135183220255395123924643747698812777
4047515764677282889710812415119523230267616472892482789180
0000007282889710812415119523230267616472892482700
0000007684919911313016720824334895820563319590800
1952 S WASHINGTON-CARVER 50C MS Prooflike
 PrAgGVGFVF4045505355586061626364656667686970
Base455054637276768994102115131147201241278426131225854141805614744
475157667376809197106120136165214253327721173631045446102850
00000080919710612013616521425332772117363104544600
000000859299111126142183228266377101721613622675100
Registry Image Gallery
Grade: MS 67
Points: 2464
Owner: J & L
 
Grade: MS 66
Points: 1776
Owner: Bob Scott
 
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