1926 Sesquicentennial Of American Independence Half Dollar


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1926
Mints: Philadelphia
Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.5 grams
Total Mintage: 141,120
Edge: reeded


Designed by John Frederick Lewis and sculpted by John Sinnock, the Commemorative Half had a composition of 90% silver & 10% copper and was issued to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The obverse features a portrait of George Washington and Calvin Coolidge facing right. The use of Coolidge on a design marked the first time a portrait of President was used while still alive (and also an active President in violation of the 1866 law prohibiting the likeness of any living person on a coin). Just below the chin of Coolidge is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. On the outer periphery are the words LIBERTY and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA separated by small seven pedal florets.

The reverse design features the Liberty Bell which would later be reused by Sinnock on the reverse of the Franklin Half Dollar. Above the bell is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. To the left of the bell is the date 1776 while to the right of the bell is the date 1926. On the outer periphery are the words SESQUICENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE (with the words seperated by dot) and HALF DOLLAR (with the two inscriptions seperated by dashes.


General Market Notes

The 1926 Half may actually be a sleeper coin. Though it's original mintage (1,000,528) is high for a commemorative coin during this time, many specimens (85 % of the original mintage!) were returned to the mint where they were later melted leaving the modest net mintage of 141,120 coins. Well struck examples of this coin are hard to come by and the low relief makes the problem even worse.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.