½ Dollar Arkansas

Features

Issuer United States
Period Federal republic (1776-date)
Type Non-circulating coin
Years 1935-1939
Value ½ Dollar (0.50 USD)
Currency Dollar (1785-date)
Composition Silver (.900)
Weight 12.50 g
Diameter 30.60 mm
Shape Round
Technique Milled
Number N# 78897
Numista type number (https://en.numista.com/help/what-is-the-n-number-visible-in-the-catalogue-33.html)
References KM# 168
Tracy L. Schmidt (editor); 2019. Standard Catalog of World Coins / 2001-Date (14th edition). Krause Publications, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.
And 5 more volumes.

Commemorative issue

100th Anniversary of the Statehood of Arkansas

Obverse

Liberty head and head of an Indian looking to the left.

Lettering:
1836
1936
ARKANSAS CENTENNIAL

Engravers: Edward Everett Burr , Emily Bates

Edward Everett Burr (born 1895, in Ohio) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked in Chicago as a sculptor, painter, and architectural renderer. He designed the Arkansas centennial half-dollar in 1936.

Reverse

Eagle with the Arkansas flag in the background.

Lettering:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
ARKANSAS
IN GOD WE TRUST
E PLURIBUS UNUM
HALF DOLLAR
1935ั

Engravers: Edward Everett Burr , Emily Bates

Edward Everett Burr (born 1895, in Ohio) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked in Chicago as a sculptor, painter, and architectural renderer. He designed the Arkansas centennial half-dollar in 1936.

Edge

Reeded

Mints

United States Mint, Philadelphia, United States (1792-date)
D United States Mint, Denver, United States (1906-date)
S United States Mint, San Francisco, United States (1854-date)

Comments

Commemorative coins were authorized to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the admission of Arkansas into the Union. The Arkansas Centennial Half Dollars ended up being issued during five separate years, across three different mints. The coins became controversial due to the stream of variations created specifically to market to collectors, as well as the escalating issue prices as mintage for later issues became smaller.

The obverse design features the head of Liberty and a Native American in headdress. The centennial dates “1836” and “1936” appear, along with the inscription “Arkansas Centennial” below and “Liberty” on Liberty’s cap. Although this is now considered to be the obverse of the coin, there was initially some confusion and US Mint records and some references refer to this side as the reverse. In 1936, a new design was issued for this side of the coin, featuring a Senator who was living at the time of issue. The 1936 Robinson-Arkansas Half Dollar is considered a separate issue by most collectors.

At the onset, the Arkansas Half Dollar was struck in a modest quantity of 13,012 pieces at the Philadelphia Mint with an additional 5,505 from Denver and 5,506 from San Francisco. The Philadelphia issues were sold at an issue price of $1 each, while the mint marked coins were purchased in a bulk transaction by a coin dealer and subsequently sold for $2.75 each. This initial situation was a taste of things to come.

In the following year, coins from three different mints were initially offered for $1 each, but the price was quickly raised to $1.50 per coin, and eventually sold as sets of three coins for $6.75. The following year three coin sets were sold at $8.75, which was eventually raised to $10. This would also be the price of the 1939 sets.

From the maximum authorized mintage of 500,000 coins, eventually there were 85,302 of the Arkansas Centennial Half Dollars sold across all years and mints. The centennial had been celebrated for a five year period including one year prior to the actual anniversary date.

Authorization: Public Law 73-225

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Date Mintage VG F VF XF AU UNC Frequency
1935  13 012 32%
1935 D 5 505 11%
1935 S 5 506 4%
1936  9 660 36%
1936 D 9 660 11%
1936 S 9 662 20%
1937  5 505 13%
1937 D 5 505 11%
1937 S 5 506 13%
1938  3 156 4%
1938 D 3 155 4%
1938 S 3 156 7%
1939  2 104 4%
1939 D 2 104 1.8%
1939 S 2 105 0%

Frequencies show the percentage of Numista users who own each year or variety among all the users who own this coin. Since some users own several versions, the sum may be greater than 100%.

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Numista Rarity index: 64 Search tips
This index is based on the data of Numista members collections. It ranges from 0 to 100, 0 meaning a very common coin or banknote and 100 meaning a rare coin or banknote among Numista members.

Bullion value: USD 7.29 Search tips
This value is given for information purpose only. It is based on a price of silver at 648 USD/kg. Numista does not buy or sell coins or metal.

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Past sales

Pictures Sale Date Version Grade Price
Picture 1 of a sold ½ Dollar (Arkansas)
Katz
Auction 61
Lot 1181
Internet Archive
Jun 7, 2022 Undetermined USD 116.81
(EUR 115.00)
(+ buyer's premium)

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