½ Dollar Old Spanish Trail

½ Dollar (Old Spanish Trail) - obverse½ Dollar (Old Spanish Trail) - reverse

© jdas

Features

Issuer United States
Period Federal republic (1776-date)
Type Non-circulating coin
Year 1935
Value ½ Dollar = 50 Cents (0.50 USD)
Currency Dollar (1785-date)
Composition Silver (.900)
Weight 12.50 g
Diameter 30.60 mm
Shape Round
Technique Milled
Orientation Coin alignment ↑↓
Number N# 78899
Numista type number (https://en.numista.com/help/what-is-the-n-number-visible-in-the-catalogue-33.html)
References KM# 172
Tracy L. Schmidt (editor); 2019. Standard Catalog of World Coins / 2001-Date (14th edition). Krause Publications, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States.
And 5 more volumes.

Commemorative issue

400th Anniversary of the Old Spanish Trail

Obverse

Head of a "Longhorn" cow.

Script: Latin

Lettering:
UNITED · STATES · OF · AMERICA
E PLURIBUS UNUM
LIBERTY
ALVAR NUÑEZ CABEZA DE VACA
HALF DOLLAR

Engravers: L. W. Hoffecker, Edmund J. Senn

Reverse

The reverse is a section of the southeastern United States with a line marking the trail. A yucca tree in bloom is superimposed over the central portion of the map.

Script: Latin

Lettering:
OLD · SPANISH · TRAIL
EL PASO
IN GOD WE TRUST
1535  1935

Engravers: L. W. Hoffecker, Edmund J. Senn

Edge

Reeded

Mint

none United States Mint, Philadelphia, United States (1792-date)

Comments

One of the lower mintage early commemorative coins that command a premium across all grade levels is the 1935 Old Spanish Trail Half Dollar. Total distribution was only 10,008 coins, including the pieces struck for assay.

This commemorative was authorized to mark the 400th anniversary of the “Old Spanish Trail”, which extended from Florida to El Paso. This was the path traveled by the pioneer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca during the years 1528 to 1536. The obverse of the coins featured the head of a cow, which is a literal translation of part of the explorer’s last name Cabeza de Vaca.

The authorizing legislation was passed due to the efforts of L.W. Hoffecker, who set up the El Paso Museum Committee to distribute the coins. He would also create the designs for the coins, which would be modeled by Edmund J. Senn. Some numismatic literature has questioned the appropriateness of this issue and claimed that it was produced to the benefit of a “one-man operation”.

The Old Spanish Trail Half Dollars were sold at an issue price of $2 each and were widely distributed. The entire maximum authorized mintage of 10,000 coins was sold out. The low mintage and wide distribution contribute to the current high premiums for the coins.

Only two other silver commemorative half dollars had a low mintage of 10,000 coins. The two issues were the Hudson Sesquicentennial Half Dollars issued in 1935 and the Hawaiian Sesquicentennial Half Dollars issued in 1928.

Authorization: Public Law 74-97
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 10,000

See also

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Date Mintage VG F VF XF AU UNC
1935  10 008 (fr) Philadelphie

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Country: Spain
Languages: English Spanish French
Numista Rarity index: 83 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 8.08 Search tips
This value is given for information purpose only. It is based on a price of silver at 718 USD/kg. Numista does not buy or sell coins or metal.

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