Federal republic (1776-date)
|Value||1/2 Dollar (0.50 USD)|
Tracy L. Schmidt (editor); 2019. Standard Catalog of World Coins / 2001-Date (14th edition). Krause Publications, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.
And 4 more volumes.
250th Anniversary of the Settlement of New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York
John Pell with a calf.
¤ SETTLED · 1688 · INCORPORATED · 1899 ¤
NEW · ROCHELLE · NEW · YORK
Coat of arms of the city which represents a fleur-de-lis.
UNITED · STATES · OF · AMERICA
E · PLURIBUS · UNUM
IN · GOD · WE · TRUST
HALF · DOLLAR
The 1938 New Rochelle Half Dollar was one of several early commemorative issues that celebrated an event of primarily local significance with the issuance of a coin on a national scale. These coins were conceived and planned by the Westchester County Coin Club of New Rochelle, New York.
Initially, Lorrilard Wise was engaged to prepare the designs for the coin. Her first models featured a Native American crouching in the grass and watching a boat carry settlers to the shore on the obverse and the city seal on the reverse. The Commission of Fine Arts rejected the designs, recommending changes, which were executed and also rejected.
Eventually, Gertrude Lathrop, who had designed the 1936 Albany Half Dollar, was engaged to prepare new designs for the New Rochelle Half Dollar. Her obverse design would depict John Pell and a fatted calf, which recalls the sale of the original land upon which the city now stands. One of the conditions of the sale was for Pell or his heirs to receive a fatted calf each year on June 24.
The reverse design features the fleur-de-lis, taken from the seal of the city. Similar to the obverse, the single design element is presented in a flat and open field with sharply contrasting lettering.
Authorizing legislation provided that the coins should be dated 1938, without regard to when the coins were actually minted, and have a maximum mintage of 25,000 pieces. The Philadelphia Mint struck the entire amount in 1937, which were sold through the New Rochelle Commemorative Coin Committee for $2 each. Eventually, almost 10,000 pieces were returned to the mint for melting, resulting in a small net distribution of 15,266 coins.
Authorization: Public Law 74-556
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