1936 Rhode Island Tercentenary


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1935-1939
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco 
Composition: 0.900 silver, 0.100 copper
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.50 grams
Total Mintage: 50,034
Philadelphia 20,013; Denver 15,010; San Francisco 15,011


This coin was struck to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Providence, Rhode Island (though that name does not appear on the coin).

The obverse shows an Art Deco style scene of the original landing with Roger Williams in a canoe, right arm raised, left hand holding a bible, being greeted by a Narragansett Indian with a stand of corn behind him and the sun rising in the background. Ominously, the business end of a blunderbuss can be seen behind the “Pilgrim” in the canoe. The inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST” and "1636 Rhode Island 1936” ring the outer edge with the words separated by dots and the inscriptions separated by double dots (i.e. a colon). The Word “LIBERTY” arcs across the top of the inner scene. The mint mark is located behind the Indian under the corn stalk on coins from Denver and San Francisco.

The central symbol on the reverse design is a ships anchor with a drapery behind it, under the anchor on the drapery is the motto ”E PLURIBUS UNUM”. On a ribbon above the anchor is the word “HOPE”. The inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “HALF DOLLAR” run around the outer edge. Keeping with the style of the obverse, the words are separated by dots and phrases by colons.

Obverse Reverse
1936_rhode_island_obv.jpg 1936_rhode_island_rev.jpg   

General Market Notes

The coins were authorized by congress on May 2 1935. The design was a collaborative effort between John Howard Benson of the Rhode Island School of Design and Arthur Graham Cary a local silversmith. As with a number of other commemoratives of this era, the master dies were executed by the Medallic Arts Company, a private mint. The initial authorization was for 50,000 coins. The initial minting was shared among the three mints, with 20,013 minted at Philadelphia, 15,010 at Denver and 15,011 at San Francisco

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