The Hidden Liberty Collection of
United States Commemoratives 1892-1954 Presented by:
Pinnacle Rarities copyright january, 2008
The Hidden Liberty Collection is the finest collection of certified clas-
sic commemoratives we’ve had the pleasure to handle. It is arguably the finest-known complete 144 piece set to ever be offered as a whole. The set was patiently assembled by an astute collector focusing on superb surfaces and majestic color. He chose the coins he liked the best, without regard to the PCGS or NGC certified grade. So while some issues have available upgrades, few coins in the set can be surpassed in terms of their exceptional eye appeal. The sheer quality of the set is staggering. There are 27 PCGS MS68 examples, along with 3 NGC MS68s, as well as 71 PCGS MS67s. Consulting the PCGS Registry, the set includes the Number One Finest Set of All Time of Oregon Trails, the 2nd Finest Set of All Time of Texas Commems, the 2nd Finest Set of All Time of Boones and the 3rd Finest Set of All Time of Arkansas Centennials. Several of the keys are worthy of mention here. The Hawaiian was a PCGS MS66. And while PCGS has graded one coin MS67, the Scher specimen, this coin has far superior color. The Lafayette Dollar PCGS MS67 also has an amazing array of vibrant color. When it sold in 2002, Heritage Auctions claimed ‘we have never seen a more impeccably preserved Lafayette.’ We’d have to agree. The list goes on, but as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words. Enjoy the photographs and descriptions of these amazing specimens. We’ve included a short historical background on each type to aid in your journey through one of numismatics favorite series.
Table of Contents Introduction 1893 Isabella Quarter PCGS MS67 1900 Lafayette Dollar PCGS MS67 1921 Alabama Centennial 2X2 PCGS MS67 1921 Alabama Centennial PCGS MS66 1936 Albany, New York PCGS MS67 1937 Antietam PCGS MS68 1935 Arkansas PCGS MS67 1935-D Arkansas PCGS MS67 1936-S Arkansas PCGS MS66 1937-D Arkansas PCGS MS67 1935-S Arkansas PCGS MS67 1936-D Arkansas PCGS MS67 1937 Arkansas PCGS MS66 1937-D Arkansas PCGS MS67 1937-S Arkansas PCGS MS66 1938 Arkansas PCGS MS67 1938-S Arkansas PCGS MS66 1939-D Arkansas PCGS MS66 1938-D Arkansas PCGS MS67 1939 Arkansas PCGS MS66 1939-S Arkansas PCGS MS66 1936 S Baybridge PCGS MS67 1934 Boone Bicentennial PCGS MS68 1935 Boone PCGS MS67 1935-S Boone PCGS MS67 1935/34-D Boone PCGS MS67 1936 Boone PCGS MS68 1935-D Boone PCGS MS67 1935/34 Boone PCGS MS68 1935/34-S Boone PCGS MS68 1936-D Boone PCGS MS67 1936-S Boone PCGS MS67 1937-D Boone PCGS MS68 1938 Boone PCGS MS67 1938-S Boone PCGS MS67 1937 Boone PCGS MS68 1937-S Boone PCGS MS67 1938-D Boone PCGS MS67 1936 Bridgeport, Conn. Centennial PCGS MS67 1925 S California Diamond Jubilee PCGS MS67 1936 Cincinnati Music Center PCGS MS67 1936-D Cincinnati PCGS MS67 1936-S Cincinnati PCGS MS66 1936 Cleveland Great Lakes Expo PCGS MS67 1936 Columbia South Carolina PCGS MS67
4 8 9 10 10 11 12 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 17 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 21 22 23 23 24 25
1936-D Columbia South Carolina PCGS MS68 26 1936-S Columbia South Carolina NGC MS68 26 1892 Columbian Exposition, Chicago PCGS MS67 27 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago PCGS MS66 27 1935 Connecticut Tercentenary PCGS MS68 28 1936 Delaware Tercentenary PCGS MS67 29 1936 Elgin, Illinois Centennial PCGS MS67 30 1936 Battle of Gettysburg PCGS MS67 31 1922 Grant Memorial with Star PCGS MS66 32 1922 Grant Memorial No Star PCGS MS67 32 1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial PCGS MS66 33 1935 Hudson, N.Y. Sesquicentennial PCGS MS67 34 1924 Huguenot - Walloon PCGS MS67 35 1946 Iowa Centennial PCGS MS68 36 1925 Lexington - Concord PCGS MS67 37 1918 Lincoln-Illinois Centennial PCGS MS67 38 1936 Long Island Tercentenary PCGS MS67 39 1936 Lynchburg Virginia PCGS MS67 40 1920 Maine Centennial PCGS MS67 41 1934 Maryland Tercentenary PCGS MS67 42 1921 Missouri Centennial 2x4 PCGS MS66 43 1921 Missouri Centennial PCGS MS65 43 1923 S Monroe Doctrine Centennial PCGS MS66 44 1938 New Rochelle, New York PCGS MS67 45 1936 Norfolk, Virginia Bicentennial PCGS MS68 46 1926 Oregon Trail Memorial PCGS MS67 47 1926-S Oregon PCGS MS68 48 1933-D Oregon PCGS MS67 48 1936 Oregon PCGS MS67 48 1937-D Oregon PCGS MS68 48 1928 Oregon PCGS MS67 48 1934-D Oregon PCGS MS67 48 1936-S Oregon PCGS MS68 48 1938 Oregon PCGS MS67 48 1938-D Oregon PCGS MS68 49 1939 Oregon PCGS MS68 49 1939-S Oregon PCGS MS68 49 1938-S Oregon PCGS MS68 49 1939-D Oregon PCGS MS68 49 1915 S Panama Pacific Exposition PCGS MS67 50 1920 Pilgrim Tercentenary PCGS MS67 51 1921 Pilgrim Tercentenary PCGS MS66 51 1936 Rhode Island PCGS MS66 52 1936-D Rhode Island PCGS MS67 53 1936-S Rhode Island PCGS MS66 53 1937 Roanoke Island, North Carolina PCGS MS68 54
Table of Contents 1936 Robinson-Arkansas PCGS MS67 1935-S San Diego, Calif. Pac. Expo. PCGS MS67 1936-D San Diego, Calif. Pac. Expo. PCGS MS67 1926 Sesquicentennial PCGS MS65 1935 Spanish Trail PCGS MS68 1925 Stone Mountain Memorial NGC MS68 1934 Texas Centennial PCGS MS68 1935 Texas PCGS MS68 1935-S Texas PCGS MS68 1936-D Texas PCGS MS67 1937 Texas PCGS MS67 1935-D Texas PCGS MS68 1936 Texas PCGS MS67 1936-S Texas PCGS MS68 1937-D Texas PCGS MS67 1937-S Texas PCGS MS67 1938 Texas PCGS MS67 1938-S Texas PCGS MS67 1938-D Texas PCGS MS67 1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial PCGS MS67 1927 Vermont Sesquicentennial PCGS MS67 1946 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1946-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1946-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1947 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1947-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1947-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1948 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1948-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1949-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1950 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1950-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1950-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1951 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1951-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 1951-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66 1951 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1951-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1952 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1952-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1953-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1951-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1952-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1953 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1953-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1954 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
55 56 56 57 58 59 60 61 61 61 61 61 61 61 61 62 62 62 62 63 64 65 66 66 66 66 66 66 66 66 67 67 67 67 67 67 68 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 69 70
1954-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1954-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 1936 Wisconsin Centennial PCGS MS68 1936 York County Maine NGC MS68 Bibliography
70 70 71 72 74
1893 Isabella Quarter PCGS MS67 The Isabella Quarter was issued in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition. This coin
was the “original” commemorative quarter. The souvenirs were sold exclusively by the Board of Lady Managers at the Columbian Expo in the building dedicated to women’s contributions to American culture. The obverse depicts a young Queen Isabella of Spain, who along with King Ferdinand financed Columbus’ expeditions. This obverse design was the first U.S. coin to depict a foreign monarch. The kneeling woman on the reverse represents women in industry. She is holding a distaff – a tool used to hold unspun cotton fibers. The dies were prepared by Charles E. Barber who also worked on the Columbian Half. The original sale price was $1, with the proceeds intended to build a permanent structure to commemorate the work of woman at the World’s Fair. Both the obverse and reverse exhibit a deep gold and russet hue in the peripheries that blends nicely into olive and blue tones through the lettering and toward mostly white centers. The obverse is virtually mark free, with a few light contact marks in the reverse left field. A stunning and vibrant example of this the original commemorative quarter.
1900 Lafayette Dollar PCGS MS67 The first commemorative silver dollar and the first coin authorized to bear the likeness of a
United States President. These coins were struck for and sold by the Lafayette Memorial Commission to fund the erection of a monument (similar to the reverse design) to General Lafayette who personally supplied military aid to the colonist of the U.S. in 1777. The statue was to be erected for the Universal Exposition in Paris, France at the turn of the century. The entire mintage was struck in one day at the Philadelphia Mint, in 1899 although the coin is designed with the date 1900 to coincide with the French Expo. A lively mix of golden auburn, rich yellows, vibrant greens and lavender blues intermingle over flawless and well struck obverse surfaces. The reverse holds matching colors toward the rims, with original untoned portions showing on the rider and in the fields. While normally not collected as varieties, this example is apparently a tougher die pairing. It is a mating of the 3rd Obverse with uneven spacing of the word AMERICA and lower last S in STATES, with the Reverse D having 15 long leaves and a short bent stem, with the lowest leaf positioned over the 9 in 1900. Regardless, this is a striking top pop example of one of the keys to the classic commemorative series.
1921 Alabama Centennial 2X2 PCGS MS67 1921 Alabama Centennial PCGS MS66
The Alabama and the Alabama 2x2 commemorate the 100th anniversary of Alabama’s induc-
tion into the Union. Alabama, once part of the Territory of Mississippi, became its own territory in 1817 and obtained statehood in December of 1819. Struck more as an after thought than an actual commemoration, the coin was authorized by Congress in the 101st year of Alabama’s statehood. The coins were not actually struck until 1921 or two years after the actual centennial celebrations. Dazzling satiny luster with traces of olive gold patina on portions of both obverse and reverse. Clean obverse devices and mark free fields, with only the slightest indication of the typical weakness in the upper eagle leg. An amazingly mark free specimen that is tied for finest known by either major service with a mere five coins total deemed MS67 with no coins grading finer. The “plain” example is a mostly white example with slightly proof like devices. Evidence of the strong strike, the reverse shows moderate detail in the upper eagle’s leg. Some minute light friction appears on the high points but only visible under magnification and nothing inconsistent with the grade. A flashy specimen with a light patina over the highest points of the coin. 10
1936 Albany, New York PCGS MS67 Albany, New York, is the second oldest chartered city in the U. S. The charter was granted in
1686 by then New York Governor Thomas Donogan. This coin commemorates the 250th anniversary of this event. The obverse depicts a beaver, a common mammal in the region. The beaver pelt trade was the main industry of the early settlers. This motif was used in many of the city’s early seals. The beaver is perched on a Maple branch which is the state tree of New York. The reverse shows an image of three men – Peter Schuyler, Robert Livingston along with Thomas Donogan. The two men were meant to be taking the actual charter from Governor Donogan after historic trip to have the soon to be capital of New York State’s charter drafted. The coins were issued by the Albany Donogan Charter Coin Committee for $2 each. Yet many went unsold. By 1943 many remained unsold and the remaining 7,342 were sent back to Philadelphia to be melted. An attractive light tanned olive patina with hints of blue and lavender lay softly over immaculate obverse devices. The color darkens in the peripheries offering a pleasing deep reddish brown frame of the frosty surfaces. The reverse is mostly white and devoid of the obverse hues. Only a trace of the edge tones are peeking through at twelve and six o’clock. Overall a lustrous and frosty example and one of the finest graded by PCGS with only one coin grading finer. 11
1937 Antietam PCGS MS68 This coin was struck to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the first major battle on north-
ern soil and the bloodiest one day battle of the United Statesâ€™ Civil War. This battle (also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg) was where nearly 23,000 Confederate and Union soldiers died, a staggering number even by todayâ€™s standards. The coin was designed by William Marks Simpson who also designed the Roanoke and the Norfolk commemorative halves. The obverse features the busts of generals George B McClellan and Robert E. Lee. The reverse is an illustration of the Burnside Bridge at Antietam a geographic representation of the location of the actual battle. Despite promoters efforts the Antietam was not in great demand at time of issue. Of the original 50,000 coins struck, some 32,000 were returned to the Treasury for melting. The obverse has flawless surfaces and boldly struck devices are rich with luster and are blanketed with deep golden hues throughout and a vibrant array of green, red, blue and lavender within the peripheral lettering. The reverse center shows a touch of the original surfaces. Otherwise, it exhibits the same lovely golden hue, with evidence of the obverse color clinging to the rim at 2:00. This is arguably the most beautiful example of an Antietam known. The current PCGS populations would concur with only a handful graded such, and no coins grading finer. 12
1935 Arkansas PCGS MS67 Part of the Louisiana Purchase, then briefly becoming part of the Missouri Territory, Arkansas
became the 25th state in the Union on June 15th, 1836. To celebrate this event, the Arkansas Honorary Centennial Celebration Commission received congressional approval to produce 500,000 halves. The commission started a year early and coins were minted at all three Mints from 1935 to 1939. The design was conceived by a Chicago artist named Edward Everett Burr. The obverse depicts a young female Arkansas resident of 1936 dressed as Lady Liberty juxtaposed to the native Arkansas resident of 1836. The reverse has an adoption of the state flag with an eagle perched on a large sun with bold rays. The coin was well promoted, despite the early objections to the design. It is now one of the classic commemorative series most popular types. The uncharacteristically immaculate devices are lightly overlaid with a pleasant blue green pastel hue. The peripheries have a deep red-orange encircling the smooth fields and flawless design elements. The reverse is awash in a light golden hue, with evidence of the obverse periphery color clinging to the rim.
1935-D Arkansas PCGS MS67
1935-S Arkansas PCGS MS67
1936 Arkansas PCGS MS67
1936-D Arkansas PCGS MS67
1936-S Arkansas PCGS MS66
1937 Arkansas PCGS MS66
1937-D Arkansas PCGS MS67
1937-S Arkansas PCGS MS66
1938 Arkansas PCGS MS67
1938-D Arkansas PCGS MS67
1938-S Arkansas PCGS MS66
1939 Arkansas PCGS MS66
1939-D Arkansas PCGS MS66
1939-S Arkansas PCGS MS66
1936 S Baybridge PCGS MS67 Both the Bay Bridge connecting the California cities of Oakland and San Francisco and the
famous Golden Gate Bridge were major projects that began in 1933. The San Francisco Clearing House submitted a bill to Congress for a commemorative coin that originally included both bridges in its adulation. The final approved bill only mentions the one Bay Bridge. The coin was designed by Jacques Schnier, a young immigrant artist living in the San Francisco area. On the obverse, Schnier used a grizzly bear motif â€“ symbolic of the state and its wild roots. The reverse is a modernistic panorama of the bridge and bay. The coins were sold at an issue price of $1.50 and many were sold from booths located at the entrances to the eight mile long bridge. This is one of the most difficult issues in the silver commemorative series to locate with outstanding color, although this example most certainly fits that bill. Both sides are adorned in a scrumptious blend of turquoise, fuchsia, bright orange and yellow circling sea-green centers. In addition to the outstanding color, the surfaces are impeccably preserved and coruscate a rich, satiny sheen. Certain to delight its future owner as well as any lucky onlookers.
1934 Boone Bicentennial PCGS MS68 This commemorative was dedicated to the 200th birthday of Daniel Boone. The proceeds were
to be used to restore historical sites related to the famous frontiersman. A New York sculptor named Augustus Lukeman was chosen to design the coin. His works included the Stone Mountain Memorial (the mountain not the coin). The obverse depicts an artists rendition of Boone’s profile (no actual picture is available). The reverse shows Boone facing the Shawnee Chief Black Fish. Boone holds a treaty in one hand, a musket in the other. It is suffice to say, the distribution of this commemorative is a bit checkered. The creative marketing techniques of distributor C. Frank Dunn left many collectors with bad tastes for the commemorative coin market. But the result for today’s collectors is an interesting series of artistic design including several varieties and some lower mintage keys. Focused more on eye appeal than population data, the Hidden Liberty collection of Boone Bicentennial halves has several coins that aren’t the tops of their population. Regardless, there are very few upgrades available, and consequently the set ranks second all time for sets registered at Collectors Universe with a weighted GPA of 67.31. Each coin was individually chosen for its’ color and advanced state of preservation. While each year set doesn’t match, each individual coin is amazing by its own right. This is an unbelievable array of this popular classic commemorative type. 17
1935 Boone PCGS MS67
1935-D Boone PCGS MS67
1935-S Boone PCGS MS67
1935/34 Boone PCGS MS68
1935/34-D Boone PCGS MS67
1935/34-S Boone PCGS MS68
1936 Boone PCGS MS68
1936-D Boone PCGS MS67
1936-S Boone PCGS MS67
1937 Boone PCGS MS68
1937-D Boone PCGS MS68
1937-S Boone PCGS MS67
1938 Boone PCGS MS67
1938-D Boone PCGS MS67
1938-S Boone PCGS MS67
1936 Bridgeport, Conn. Centennial PCGS MS67 The city of Bridgeport was founded in 1639. Two hundred years later, it was finally incorporat-
ed in 1836. Another hundred years later, city officials decided to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this event. A committee was formed calling itself the Bridgeport Centennial, Inc. They submitted the appropriate legislation which Congress approved, and the Bridgeport half was born. Henry G. Kreis (designer of both the Connecticut commem and later the Robinson-Arkansas) was chosen to design the coin. His obverse was the bust of Bridgeportâ€™s favorite son â€“ P.T. Barnum. Famous world wide for his showmanship, his local philanthropy was not widely known. Thus, this choice met with much criticism outside of the Bridgeport region. The art deco eagle on the reverse met with similar criticisms. The initial striking produced 25,015 coins. These found a ready market despite missing the actual centennial celebration. The bust of P.T. Barnum is a light golden color framed in a wonderful pastel blue with hints of lavender. The reverse surfaces are mark free and awash in the same under coat with a crescent of the lavender blues through AMERICA.
1925 S California Diamond Jubilee PCGS MS67 Authorized along with the Vermont and the Vancouver commemoratives in early 1925, the Cal-
ifornia Diamond Jubilee celebrated the 75th anniversary of the state’s admission to the Union. Despite opposition, the coin was designed by a Joseph Mora, an immigrant from Uruguay who lived in Carmel. The obverse bore a representation of a prospector panning for gold, symbolic of California’s “Gold Rush” beginnings. The reverse was a rendition of the large bear motif used on the California state flag. A whopping 150,200 coins were struck exclusively in the San Francisco mint. An optimistic number as 63,606 were later melted. Although 86,594 coins were distributed, many were sold directly to the public and subsequently were mishandled. Therefore, choice specimens remain scarce today. The classic look coveted by the toning aficionado. Bright, untoned centers are surrounded by a thick band of rainbow color on both obverse and reverse. It is nearly impossible to conceive of a coin having superior surface preservation, cartwheel luster and outstanding all-round eye-appeal. Quite simply a lovely coin.
1936 Cincinnati Music Center PCGS MS67 The Cincinnati half dollar was authorized to commemorate the 50th anniversary for the city as
a center of music. The rub was that there was nothing honestly worth national celebration from Cincinnati in 1886. Regardless, the Cincinnati Musical Center Commemorative Coin Association got the measure passed and struck 15,016 coins divided equally among the three mints. The coin was designed by one Constance Ortmayer. Her design was as dubious as the commemoration. The obverse bore the likeness of Stephen Foster, whose contributions to music are well documented, but not while living in Cincinnati. The reverse design represents the Goddess of Music holding a lyre (an unusually small one). Despite, the obvious flaws in design and intent, today the Cincinnati Commemorative half is regarded as one of the classic seriesâ€™ most desirable. The Philadelphia Mint specimen is one of only 2 currently graded 67 by PCGS, with no coins finer by either top grading service. Spectacularly preserved surfaces radiate luster beneath a subtle blue and gold patina. The obverse rim is additionally adorned with a thin band of rainbow color.
1936-D Cincinnati Music Center PCGS MS67 The Denver example has a light patina throughout with intermingling greens a blue over a frosty obverse, with a thin rainbow stripe clinging to the right obverse edge. The reverse feature an array of pastel colors dancing together across a frosty reverse.
1936-S Cincinnati Music Center PCGS MS66 The peripheries of the San Francisco Mint specimen has a deep maroon, with some areas of blue-green, plum and lavender. The overall obverse is lightly blanketed with a deep gold with some of the original luster peeking through. 23
1936 Cleveland Great Lakes Expo PCGS MS67 This commemorative was conceived to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of
Cleveland as a city. Designed by Brenda Putnam, the coinâ€™s obverse was a bust of Moses Cleaveland who founded the city in 1796. The reverse utilized the official insignia of the Great Lakes Exposition. Sale of the coins originally took place at this exposition that ran from June 27th to October 4, 1936. Sales continued afterwards, with an additional 25,000 coins minted in early 1937. However, demand waned and thousands remained unsold. Most examples seen today are uncirculated, and superb gems are readily available. The bust of Moses Cleaveland is gently framed in a deep orange and red patina. Hints of lavender and blue show through on the centers. The boldly struck reverse exhibits the same coloration with the addition of a wonderful olive hue.
1936 Columbia South Carolina PCGS MS67 The Columbia Sesquicentennial was struck in commemoration of the city’s designation as South Carolina’s state capital. The coin was designed by a sculptor from a local college. The obverse bears a gowned goddess Justice, flanked by the Capitol buildings from both 1786 and 1936. The reverse utilized the state emblem, a palmetto tree surround by 13 stars boasting South Carolina’s status as one of the original colonies. 25,023 coins were struck in late summer, yet were distribution didn’t start until December of 1936. But, unlike other commems of the era, orders were filled in order to maximize the number of collectors able to receive the coins.
The most elusive of the Columbia, South Carolina three mint trio. One of only 54 so graded, none finer. Spectacularly preserved surfaces radiate luster beneath a subtle blue and gold patina. The obverse rim is additionally adorned with a thin band of rainbow color. Housed in a green-tag holder.
1936-D Columbia South Carolina PCGS MS68 Radiant luster coruscates above the flawless surfaces of this majestically toned beauty. The surfaces bespeak perfection beneath a rich blend of sky blue, peony pink, crimson and amber patina. Need we say more?
1936-S Columbia South Carolina NGC MS68 A pristine, spectacularly toned example of the design...We dare say the pinnacle of Columbia halves. No coin has graded finer, and few if any exhibit the dynamic coloration that accents this heavenly specimen. The San Francisco Columbia is much scarcer than its Denver counterpart; with only 10 “S” mint examples attaining this lofty grade compared with 42 “D’s” between both PCGS and NGC. 26
1892 Columbian Exposition, Chicago PCGS MS67 1893 Columbian Exposition, Chicago PCGS MS66
These coins were struck as part of the national celebration of the 400th anniversary of Colum-
bus’ landing in the New World. They were distributed exclusively at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago Illinois. The coins were sold at Expo booths for $1 and various promotions were available at the fair including a 20 foot long, four foot tall model of the Treasury built out of the half dollars. When the fair closed, unsold half dollars were melted. The over 2 ½ million coins melted were no strangers to the melting pots as the entire mintage of Columbian half dollars was struck from reclaimed silver. The planchets used to strike the United States’ first commemorative half were made from obsolete coinage - seated and bust types! The 1892 example has an unbelievably vibrant neon blue obverse periphery around boldly defined golden devices. The reverse features a blend of green and the obverse’s neon blue with golden toned and a sharply struck center details. The 1893 has a spectacular reverse which displays a vibrant palette of rainbow hues circling a teal blue center. The obverse center is a rosy-gold surrounded by sea-green, electric blue and hints of bright orange. It is housed in a green-tag PCGS holder 27
1935 Connecticut Tercentenary PCGS MS68 In observance of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Connecticut as a colony, The Con-
necticut Tercentenary Commission in conjunction with the State Library of Hartford, and the Hartford National Bank submitted the legislation to Congress and ultimately distributed the 25,018 authorized commemorative coins struck. They were sold through banks, as well as by mail. Designed by Henry G. Kreis who went on the design the Bridgeport the following year, used a massive rendition of the famed Charter Oak where colonist hid the original colonyâ€™s charter. English soldiers were sent to retrieve it as the thrown had threatened to divide the colony between New York and Massachusetts. The colony remained intact and later became one of the first states. On the reverse Kreis used a modernized eagle motif, with people of the time either hating or loving it. Today, the majestic tree and deco eagle make this classic commem a collector favorite. While readily available in white gem MS65 and MS66, attractively toned superb gems remain quite elusive. This popular design is lightly undertoned with a pleasing gold, with a bold crescent of blue and lavender laying across the left obverse. A darker band of color clings tightly to the rim. The reverse is lustrous and mark free with the light gold hue throughout. The upper right rim has a light rainbow of color along the rim. 28
1936 Delaware Tercentenary PCGS MS67 Swedish colonists arrived in Delaware Bay, and established an outpost becoming the first settle-
ment in the entire Delaware River Valley. The 300th anniversary of this event was celebrated by Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey alike. The Delaware Swedish Tercentenary Commission anticipated this and had authorized in advance of the 1938, the Delaware Tercentenary silver commemorative half. Approved in 1936, struck in 1937 a year prior to the anniversary, the coins met with the similar resistance other issues of 1936 met with. And, of the 25,017 struck, over four thousand were eventually melted. With large hoards trading within the industry for years to come. The coin was designed by Carl L. Schmitz, who won the right (along with a $500 prize) in a competition held by the commission. His obverse was copied from a model of the actual ship the early colonists arrived on. The reverse is a simplified Swedes Church at Willmington which was erected in the late 17th century near the site of the shipâ€™s landing and is still in regular use today. The reverse and obverse designations were swapped by the U.S. Mint, and the ship is now referred to as the reverse. This Delaware is sharply struck and devoid of distracting marks. Blanketed with rich coloration, there is a pleasing red-orange crescent framing the Swedes Church on the obverse and the reverse ship. PCGS has yet to grade a coin finer â€“ simply superb! 29
1936 Elgin, Illinois Centennial PCGS MS67 The monies raised from the sale of the Elgin Centennial were supposed to fund the erection of
a statue honoring the early pioneers. This twelve foot high group of statuary would commemorate the centennial anniversary of the founding of the city of Elgin, Illinois. The coins were distributed by L.W. Hoffecker, a coin dealer from El Paso, TX. Hoffecker had previously sold the Old Spanish Trails. This whole project was conceived by sculptor Trygve A. Rovelstad as a vehicle to fund his dream of building the Pioneer Memorial. The proceeds from this endeavor failed to ever produce the grand monument the coins were authorized for. Rovelstadâ€™s design features a bold bust image of a pioneer, the reverse bears the likeness of four huddled settlers, in a miniature version of his larger statue design. The coin was not well received, as the actual issue came long after the actual centennial celebrations had ceased. Frosty and bold devices peer through a window frame of deep green, red-orange and yellow. The same attractive array of deep patination. This toning pattern is evidence of a previous life in the six-coin cardboard insert-type holder this specimen was likely originally housed.
1936 Battle of Gettysburg PCGS MS67 The Battle of Gettysburg half dollar was approved by Congress in 1936 to observe the 75th
anniversary of the epic Civil War battle. The coins were actually struck in 1937, despite the anniversary and celebrations all occurring a year later. The models were made by Frank Vittor who depicted both a Union and Confederate soldier on the obverse. The words, BLUE AND GRAY REUNION along the rim referred to a scheduled event in July of 1938. The reverse bears two shields representing either side of the conflict. Again lettering along the peripheries reflects the actual anniversary, while the authorized date 1936 was placed below the shields separated by the fasces. The commemorative market had faded by 1938 and nearly half the mintage was melted. Despite this slow start the Gettysburg commemorative is a popular design today. Touches of purple and blue beam through the russet and blood orange peripheral hues that pleasantly blend toward light centers. An amazingly beautiful example of this popular Civil War commemorative and so well preserved that PCGS has currently only graded two coins finer.
1922 Grant Memorial with Star PCGS MS66 1922 Grant Memorial No Star PCGS MS67
This commemorative was coined to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President
Ulysses S. Grant. Incorporated in 1921 the Ulysses S. Grant Centenary Memorial Association put forth a congressional bill that included this classic commemorative and a gold dollar counterpart. It also included various celebrations, the erection of a several “memorial” buildings and a five mile length of highway. Profits from the sales were supposed to fund these memorial sites. Laura Gardin Fraser was chosen for the design. She depicts the bust of Grant in uniform on the obverse. And, the reverse was a depiction of Grant’s childhood home. The commission desired a variety in this type. They came up with the idea of stamping half the gold dollars with a star. Much to their surprise, about 5,000 halves were also struck with the same star. This type has become one of the classic commemorative series’ most elusive coins in mint state grades. Regardless, both the plain and the star variety halves are actively sought after by collectors today. This pair of Grant Commemoratives is simply amazing. The Star variety is overall golden in color with the obverse fields awash in an attractive gun metal blue, with a hint of orange-red in the periphery. The reverse has the similar gold wash and a lighter version of the orange-red in the upper lettering. The No Star example has a similar golden overall hue, with an electric blue patina throughout the edges. 32
1928 Hawaiian Sesquicentennial PCGS MS66 Authorized to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Captain James Cookâ€™s arrival to then
termed Sandwich Islands in 1778, the coins were struck in a relatively small amount. Only 10,008 were minted by the Philadelphia in the summer of 1928. Fifty of these were struck as proofs. The coins were designed by Juliette May Fraser a popular Hawaiian artist. The obverse features a bust of Captain Cook. The reverse bears a likeness of a native Hawaiian warrior chief. The coins were distributed by the Bank of Hawaii, Ltd in Honolulu and strong sales quickly sold out all supplies. Most examples sold to residents of the island, forcing mainland specimens to trade immediately for premiums. The design remains in demand today, and is considered one of the keys to the fifty piece set.
No other Hawaiians come close to this one in terms of magnificent eye-appeal. Both obverse and reverse surfaces are awash in an assortment of vivid hues representing nearly every color in the spectrum. In addition, the surfaces are practically flawless and the luster highly intense. There is little doubt in our minds that this is the finest Hawaiian half dollar in existence.
1935 Hudson, N.Y. Sesquicentennial PCGS MS67 Incorporated in 1785, the city of Hudson, New York was named for the river on which it was
located. The river’s namesake, Henry Hudson, was famous for a number of explorations to the New World during the early 1600’s. The obverse originally intended by city leaders was a bust of Henry Hudson, and the reverse a rendition of the city seal. The obverse adopted was eventually an image of the Half Moon, the flagship of Hudson’s fleet. The Philadelphia Mint coined the small mintage of only 10,000 coins (plus assay pieces) and these were to be distributed by the First National Bank and Trust Company. The entire issue was sold out within a few days, with few collectors actually obtaining any of the original issued pieces. Most pieces were bought up at a wholesale level by dealers. The bulk of the Hudsons that found their way into collectors hands were resold at premiums, by these dealers. Today, the Hudson remains one of the classic commemoratives more expensive types. Well defined tab toning along the obverse lettering along the edge of the coin lend itself to the original nature of this example. The deco interior design elements are well struck and lightly coated with pastel greens and hints of lavender. The reverse exhibits a mixture of rich golden hues, with plum and maroon highlights. A consensus rarity with the current PCGS population of six and no coins grading finer by either PCGS or NGC. 34
1924 Huguenot - Walloon PCGS MS67 In 1624, a group of Walloons sailed from Holland and founded a colony in now New York. The
colony was also settled by French and Belgian immigrants known as Huguenots. Three hundred years later, this event spurred the formation of the Huguenot-Walloon New Netherland Commission which sought authorization for a coin to help fund the 300th anniversary of this early settlement. Proceeds from sales were to fund the dedication of the National Huguenot Memorial Church at Huguenot Part on Staten Island. The design was suggested by Dr. John Baer Stoudt, with George T. Morgan preparing the models. Oddly, the obverse represents Admiral Gaspard de Coligny and William the Silent. These two figures didnâ€™t have anything to do with the settlement. In fact their contributions to the New World occurred long before the Walloons and Huguenots made their journey from Europe. The reverse is a depiction of the Nieuw Nederland ship sailed by the early settlers from Holland. Sales were made through the Fifth National Bank of New York, with some bulk sales going to particular groups. Despite legislation against, 55,000 found their way into circulation via the Treasury. Both obverse and reverse are richly overtoned with a deep golden green with streaks of maroon and hints of blue and lavender in small areas. A wonderfully struck example with frosty fields and bold devices. 35
1946 Iowa Centennial PCGS MS68 The Iowa Centennial half dollar was authorized and struck after a hiatus of commemorative
coinage by the Mint. Struck after World War II, during a time when the U.S. economy was strong, this late date classic commemorative observed the centennial of Iowaâ€™s statehood. Designed by Adam Pietz, the obverse is a likeness of the Old Stone Capital of Iowa City. The reverse is an adoption of the Iowa coat of arms. The reverse stars number 29, representing Iowa as the 29th state. The distribution authorized calls for coins to be stuck, and sold, with 1,000 coins saved for distribution in 1996 (sesquicentennial) and 2046. 500 coins remain in storage today for this bicentennial celebration. A stunning array of vibrant hues completely tone both obverse and reverse surfaces. On the obverse, magenta mingles with chartreuse with a splash of rainbow adding additional charm. The reverse displays a slightly different variation of the same palette, with the addition of a more intense green.
1925 Lexington - Concord PCGS MS67 Designed by Chester Beach, this commemorative was struck in observance of the famous bat-
tle of the Revolutionary War – the Battle of Lexington and Concord which began after Paul Revere’s famed ride. The coin was envisioned in 1923, and both a Concord consortium and a group from Lexington separately contacted Beach to work on the design of the coin. Beach agreed with his fees to be divided by the two communities. The obverse was devised by the Concord group and featured a Minute Man with the words “Concord Minute-Man” along his side. This was fashioned after a statue of the same, located in Concord. The reverse, chosen by the Lexington group, features the Lexington landmark of the Old Belfry, a church which sounded the alarm on that fateful day. The coins were distributed by both the Concord National Bank and the Lexington Trust Company. Most of them sold during the Sesquicentennial festivities held by both cities during the Spring of 1925. The project was successful with only a mere 86 coins of the original 162,099 pieces returned to the Treasury for melting. A deeply frost laden example with a wonderful array of pastel coloration throughout, accented with a deep crescent of darker hues in both obverse and reverse peripheries. This specimen is devoid of distracting marks including an exceptionally clean Minute Man leg, and corner of Old Belfry. One of only eight coins so graded by PCGS with only one coin higher. 37
1918 Lincoln-Illinois Centennial PCGS MS67 To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Illinoisâ€™ induction to the Union, Congress authorized a
quantity of 100,000 commemorative coins be struck at the Philadelphia Mint in 1918. This was only the fifth silver commemorative struck by the U.S. Mint and the first commemorative coin to celebrate acceptance into the Union. Abraham Lincoln is depicted on the obverse, and while born in Kentucky, he moved his family to Illinois in his twenties where he practiced law. This portrait is taken by designer G.T. Morgan from a statue located in Springfield, Illinois. The reverse was prepared by J.R. Sinnock and is based on Illinoisâ€™ State Seal. The coins were sold mainly through the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. No coins were melted, but several hoards were saved, with some coins working their way into circulation. A popular design today, the Illinois Centennial is among collectorâ€™s favorite designs. A few small areas of the original white surfaces peek through beautiful rainbow of color in the edges that blend nicely toward golden centers on both obverse and reverse sides. The surfaces are frosty with minimal contact marks. PCGS has currently only graded one coin finer.
1936 Long Island Tercentenary PCGS MS67 Another in the long line of silver commemoratives struck in 1936, the Long Island Tercente-
nary observed the 300th anniversary of the settlement at Jamaica Bay on Long Island, by Dutch colonists. The design was conceived by Howard Kenneth Weinman, son of the Mercury dime designer Adolph A. Weinman. H.Weinman prepared the sketches for this coin before the coin was actually authorized. His obverse depicted busts of both a Dutch settler, and native Algonquin Indian. The reverse is a representative to a period Dutch sailing vessel, and is often compared to the ship on the reverse of the Hudson. The net mintage was 81,826 after nearly 20,000 unsold pieces found their way to the melting pots. The satiny luster of this Long Island is accented by a rich crescent of color on the left side of the obverse. Overall, a mostly white example with hints of pastel lavender and orange hues throughout. An amazing coin, withh only a dozen coins so graded by PCGS. With no coins deemed finer, this is possibly the finest Long Island classic commemorative in existence.
1936 Lynchburg Virginia PCGS MS67 The Lynchburg, designed by Charles Keck, commemorated the 150th birthday of â€œLynchburg
in Old Virginiaâ€?. Its obverse features the portrait of Senator Carter Glass while the reverse depicts Ms. Liberty along with the Confederate Monument and the Old courthouse. Among other achievements, Senator Glass is noted for having been one of the founders of the Federal Reserve System and a creator of the F.D.I.C. Iridescent pinks and blues mingle with vibrant orange and gold peripheral hues above supremely lustrous, immaculate surfaces. Not a coin has been deemed finer by PCGS.
1920 Maine Centennial PCGS MS67 The Maine half dollar was issued in order to raise funds for the Maine Centennial Celebration
in Portland. Although authorized in May of 1920 the production ended up being too late for the Centennial. Consequently, they were sold through Spring of the following year by the State Treasurer. The obverse design incorporates the State arms and a moose in front of a pine tree; the reverse displays a long leaf wreath. A consensus rarity with currently only 16 coins so graded by PCGS and no coins grading finer by either PCGS or NGC. This example is rich in color featuring deep red-orange intermingling with greens, blues and lavender all undercoated with a please golden yellow. Simply put, this coin is amazing!
1934 Maryland Tercentenary PCGS MS67 The impetus for the Maryland commemorative was fundraising for celebrations sponsored
by the Maryland Tercentenary Commission, honoring the anniversary of the arrival of the first group of settlers at St. Mary’s. Designed by Hans Schuler, the obverse displays a bust of Cecil Calvert (known as “Lord Baltimore”) who founded the colony. The reverse bears the coat of arms for the state of Maryland. A majestic blend of icy blue, delicate pink and lemon yellow radiate around pale golden centers. The luster is outstanding and practically drips from the surfaces. This is one of the most difficult issues in the Silver Commemorative series to locate with special color. None have been graded higher at PCGS.
1921 Missouri Centennial 2x4 PCGS MS66 1921 Missouri Centennial PCGS MS65
The two Missouri issues were aimed at fundraising - a very common theme, it seems, when dis-
cussing the reasons for so many of these commemorative issues. In this case it pertained to the Missouri centennial Exposition and State Fair marking the one hundredth anniversary of Missouri’s admission into the Union. The obverse depicts the bust of a frontiersman. The reverse shows the figure of the same frontiersman, but accompanied by an Indian. The 2x4 variety/issue signified that Missouri was the 24th star in the flag. It was produced before, but sold after the 1921 plain. Missouri’s are tough in their own right. This pair features a 2X4 with the low PCGS population of 24/0, a number that is likely inflated due to resubmissions. This specimen has pristine and frosty surfaces which exhibit a pale champagne hue throughout. The “Plain” example has a deep blue green hue bordered with an attractive russet color all encircling the gem surfaces and devices.
1923 S Monroe Doctrine Centennial PCGS MS66 The promoter of the Monroe was actually the motion picture industry - for its American His-
torical Revue and Motion Picture Historical Exposition in Los Angeles in June of 1923. John Quincy Adams and James Monroe, both known for their association with the Monroe Doctrine, are portrayed on the obverse. The Western Hemisphere as represented by two female figures, is shown on the reverse. According to Walter Breen “Probably over 90% were spent by local banks, or by inheritors during the 1929-37 Depression”. Considered an aesthetic disaster, Q. David Bowers claims ‘you will never find a beautiful one’ when it comes to this half dollar. The Hidden Liberty is proof that he was dead wrong. Well struck and devoid of major marks this example is indeed beautiful. Adorned with a cornucopia of colors included but not limited to blue, green, lavender, orange, red and pleasant blends of all colors listed above. A unbelievable example of this San Francisco classic commemorative.
1938 New Rochelle, New York PCGS MS67 This half dollar was issued in observance of the founding of New Rochelle in 1688 by French
Huguenots from La Rochelle. These early colonists purchased the 6000 acre tract from John Pell. Gertrude K. Lathrop designed the coin. Mr. Pell appears on the obverse with a calf, as part of the title arrangement to the land supposedly provided that he gave away a fattened calf every year. The reverse bears the fleur-de-lis, as adopted from the Seal of the city. Bright untoned centers are surrounded by a rich, vibrant ring of rainbow hues on both obverse and reverse. The luster and surface preservation are unusually superb, and the color puts this piece in a class of a select few examples.
1936 Norfolk, Virginia Bicentennial PCGS MS68 Originally, this issue was to commemorate a 1936 celebration sponsored by the Norfolk Ad-
vertising Board and Norfolk Association of Commerce. However, the Senate only agreed to authorize an act pertaining to “medals” as opposed to “coins”. The following year, a new bill, albeit somewhat late, made it through Congress. With that, the 300th anniversary of the original Norfolk land grant and the 200h anniversary of the establishment of the borough were commemorated. Husband and wife William and Marjorie Simpson were the designers. The obverse depicts the Seal of the city of Norfolk, a three masted ship being the device at its center. The reverse bears the Royal Mace of Norfolk which was presented by Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie in 1753. Frankly put, Norfolk’s come nice. That being said, this is an exceptional example that is deeply hued in a rich golden color with intermittent greens, blue and plum tones peeking through around the many design elements of this commemorative type. PCGS and NGC alike, have yet to deem a coin finer.
1926 Oregon Trail Memorial PCGS MS67 This beautiful and highly popular issue features an Indian in a pose of warning on the obverse
and a reverse with a pioneer family headed westward in a covered wagon. It was designed by James Earle Fraser and his wife Laura Gardin Fraser, in memory of the many pioneers and in commemoration of the Oregon Trail. A number of monuments were built at different points of importance along the trail. First produced in 1926, the Oregon was later struck in 1928, 1933 and 1934, then again in 1936-1939. The 1933 issue was the first silver commemorative coin struck at the Denver Mint. Although never posted to the website until itsâ€™ sale, the Hidden Liberty collection of Oregon Trail Memorial commemoratives is the finest PCGS set ever assembled among both active and retired sets. With a Weighted GPA of 67.67 few coins exist that would serve as upgrades. It goes without saying that Oregons are readily found attractive. However, the coins contained herein have patina ranging from full blown rainbow color throughout (ie 1937-D), to bold rainbow peripheral hues (ie 1939-P), white centers with rich peripheral toning (ie 1926) to lightly golden wash overall (ie 1934-D). These are, simply put, an amazing accumulation of arguably the most beautiful design in the classic commemorative series. 47
1926-S Oregon PCGS MS68
1928 Oregon PCGS MS67
1933-D Oregon PCGS MS67
1934-D Oregon PCGS MS67
1936 Oregon PCGS MS67
1936-S Oregon PCGS MS68
1937-D Oregon PCGS MS68
1938 Oregon PCGS MS67
1938-D Oregon PCGS MS68
1938-S Oregon PCGS MS68
1939 Oregon PCGS MS68
1939-D Oregon PCGS MS68
1939-S Oregon PCGS MS68
1915 S Panama Pacific Exposition PCGS MS67 The Panama Pacific half dollar was issued to help fund the 1915 Exposition in San Francisco,
which celebrated the opening of the Panama canal. Charles E. Barber’s obverse design features Ms. Liberty dispensing flowers from her child’s cornucopia - a “hollow, horn-shaped wicker basket typically filled with various kinds of festive fruit and vegetables.” In the background is a sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge. The reverse displays an eagle surrounded by oak and olive branches. Many consider this design one of the most beautiful in the Classic Commemorative series. The reverse has unbelievable technicolor rainbow toning. It is unlike anything we have seen on any other Panama Pacific example...and we’ve seen a lot of them. The obverse is also tremendously colorful, with superb surfaces. You could hold out for one of the 2 PCGS MS68s, or you could settle for having the most fabulous looking of the bunch.
1920 Pilgrim Tercentenary PCGS MS67 1921 Pilgrim Tercentenary PCGS MS66
The Pilgrim issues of 1920 and 1921 generated funding for a number of different New Eng-
land celebrations in honor of the Pilgrim Fathers’ arrivals at Plymouth Rock and Provincetown. Boston sculptor Cyrus Dallin executed designs which had been provided to him by the commission. The obverse features a portrait of Governor Bradford and the reverse bears the “Mayflower”. Interestingly, the 1920 examples do not bear a date on the obverse, while those from 1921 do. These two are a wonderfully conflicting pair of Pilgrim Tercentenary commemoratives. Each example is amazing in its’ own right, with the 1920 being bold in coloration with rich electric hues throughout. The 1921 has pleasing pastel patination with pleasing lavender centers framed with a rich golden green.
1936 Rhode Island PCGS MS66 Commemorating the 300th anniversary of the founding of Providence by Roger Williams, the Rhode Island coincided with a number of statewide celebrations. The obverse depicts Williams in a canoe being welcomed by an Indian, while the reverse bears the anchor of Hope with shield and mantling. Curiously, no mention of Providence is found on the coinâ€™s design. Designed by Arthur Graham Carey and John Howard Benson. This matched PDS set of Rhode Islands is truly unbelievable. Each features meticulously preserved fields framed with varying rings of red, orange and gold. The Philadelphia specimen is also graced slightly with the palette of color characteristic of this, one of the very best of Rhode Island sets known.
1936-D Rhode Island PCGS MS67 The San Francisco strike has amazingly bright sky blue centers that darken to a pleasing teal and green juxtaposed to the russet ring.
1936-S Rhode Island PCGS MS66 While technically a superior coin, the Denver Mint example has a similar but more subtle coloration.
1937 Roanoke Island, North Carolina PCGS MS68 Authorized in 1936, the Roanoke coincided with a 1937 celebration commemorating the
350th anniversary of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Lost Colony” and the birth of the first white child to be born in British North America - Virginia Dare. Obverse features a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh and the reverse shows Virginia Dare being held by Ellinor Dare. This designed was done by William Simpson of Baltimore. According to Breen, they “misspelled RALEIGH on the coin because the federal Commission of Fine Arts insisted that the obverse die must follow the spelling in the authorizing act.” This example is one of only a dozen coins so graded by PCGS with no coins deemed finer. Amazing for its state of preservation, this specimen has a pleasing overall olive hued reverse with hints of russet and reds peeking through. The obverse has similar coloration with the tell tale tab toning lending itself to the originality of this coin.
1936 Robinson-Arkansas PCGS MS67 This issue is referred to as both the Robinson-Arkansas and the Arkansas Robinson. A new
reverse design was featured on the Robinson, while the obverse was unchanged. The technical result is that although the side with the portrait is typically considered to be the obverse, this coinâ€™s reverse can fairly and accurately be said to be bearing the image of Senator Joseph T. Robinson. Robinson was also previously a nominee for Vice President under Al smith in 1928. The uncharacteristically immaculate devices are lightly overlaid with a please blue green pastel hue. The peripheries have a deep red-orange encircling the smooth fields and flawless design elements. The reverse is awash in a light golden hue, with evidence of the obverse periphery color clinging to the rim.
1935-S San Diego, Calif. Pac. Expo. PCGS MS67 1936-D San Diego, Calif. Pac. Expo. PCGS MS67
Designed by Robert Aitken, the San Diego commemoratives were produced for sale as souvenirs at the San Diego Worldâ€™s Fair in Balboa Park in 1935-36. The obverse design was an adaptation of the state seal - Minerva holding a shield and spear. A bear appears in the left background. The reverse features the observation tower and the State of California building from the exposition. The 1935 issues were struck in San Francisco and the 1936 pieces in Denver.
These two San Diego commemoratives are quite the pair. The San Francisco coin has white centers which blend from golden and yellow hues in the fields, and green, orange and russet hues in the lettering. The reverse feature well struck devices and light golden color overall with a darker version around the rims. The Denver Mint version has rich electric target toning that encircles the white centers.
1926 Sesquicentennial PCGS MS65 The Sesquicentennial Exposition was held in Philadelphia in 1926 in honor of the 150th an-
niversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Congress created the National Sesquicentennial Commission, on whose behalf these souvenirs were sold. The obverse design features the busts of President Washington and President Calvin Coolidge, violating the 1866 Act of Congress forbidding the depiction of living persons on coins. Designed by John Lewis and modeled from his design by John Sinnock, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. This issue is well known for considerable loss of design detail due to the dies having been in very low relief. None of them are well struck.
Warm autumnal golden and orange hues tone well-matched obverse and reverse surfaces. The design elements are notably better defined than most on this typically weakly struck issue. Only 7 have been awarded a higher grade at PCGS, and none higher than MS66.
1935 Spanish Trail PCGS MS68 This issue commemorated the 400th anniversary of the overland trek of the Cabeza de Vaca
expedition through the gulf states in 1535. Fundraising on behalf of the El Paso Museum for the associated celebrations provided the impetus for sales of the coins. Designed by L.W. Hoffecker, the obverse was chosen because the explorer’s name supposedly literally translates to “head of cow”. The reverse bears a yucca tree and a map which illustrates the Old Spanish Trail. Spanish Trails are one of the more difficult issues to locate with pleasing color. This example is by far the nicest Spanish Trail in existence. (PCGS has certified one other MS68, but it pales in comparison to this phenomenal example.) Both surfaces are saturated with color and luster, with nary a discernable mark to be found. The central portions are a pale violet and powder blue, blending to a full obverse and partial reverse rainbow periphery.
1925 Stone Mountain Memorial NGC MS68 The obverse of the Stone Mountain shows Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall”
Jackson on horseback. And, if General Jackson needed any further honor he received it when the first coins were struck on his birthday, January 21’st. The reverse depicts a bald eagle on a cliff along with the inscription “Memorial to the Valor of the Soldier of the South”. Over 1,000,000 were produced, a huge mintage for commemoratives, and funds received for their sales were used to defray expenses for carving of the figures of soldiers and confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia, which was started in 1923 but not completed until 1970. A vibrant display of emerald, garnet and amber peripheral color beautifully blend with powder blue centers above frosty and flawless surfaces. The reverse displays the horizontal band characteristic of the toning formed from the original cardboard holders issued by the Mint. A stunning example that is certainly amongst the finest known for this popular Civil War design.
1934 Texas Centennial PCGS MS68 Commemorating the independence that Texas won in 1836, these coins were issued primar-
ily for fund raising purposes for the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas in 1936. However, the first date among those issued as 1934. The obverse features an eagle superimposed on a star, representing Texas, the Lone Star State. The reverse depicts a winged Victory holding an olive branch. Her other hand rests atop a tiny Alamo. In the background are medallions displaying portraits of Stephen Austin and General Sam Houston who were founders of the Republic. There are 13 coins comprising the Texas Commemorative Collection, and three of the Hidden Liberty coins stand alone as the finest examples graded at PCGS. Each and every coin in this group displays gorgeous color and, of course, impeccable surfaces. 5 of the remaining 10 coins are tied for finest known honors. The collection is ranked as the number 2 all-time finest on the PCGS Registry.
1935 Texas PCGS MS68
1935-D Texas PCGS MS68
1935-S Texas PCGS MS68
1936 Texas PCGS MS67
1936-D Texas PCGS MS67
1936-S Texas PCGS MS68
1937 Texas PCGS MS67
1937-D Texas PCGS MS67
1937-S Texas PCGS MS67
1938 Texas PCGS MS67
1938-D Texas PCGS MS67
1938-S Texas PCGS MS67 62
1925 Fort Vancouver Centennial PCGS MS67 The sale of these coins at $1 each was aimed at financing a 1925 pageant in celebration of the
fortâ€™s being built in 1825 by Dr. John McLoughlin. His image appears on the obverse and the reverse bears a pioneer settler holding a musket, with Fort Vancouver in the background. Laura Gardner Fraser served as the designer. Although the coins were minted in San Francisco they bear no S mint-mark.
Subtle, shimmering golden centers give way to a halo of bright orange along the edges of both obverse and reverse designs. The luster is exceptionally strong and the surface quality spectacular. Just a single example has been graded finer by PCGS. We have seen the MS68 and are unequivocally convinced that this example is superior to it.
1927 Vermont Sesquicentennial PCGS MS67 The independence of Vermont and the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington are com-
memorated by this issue. Ira Allen, Vermontâ€™s founder is portrayed on the obverse, while the reverse features a catamount (mountain lion) atop a pedestal. The Vermont was authorized in 1925 but not coined until 1927 after quite a bit of battling over its design, partly by the Commission of Fine Artâ€™s James Earle Fraser, well known, among other things, for his design of the Buffalo Nickel. Brilliant, glimmering luster sparkles atop golden surfaces that morph to pastel shades of the rainbow at the border areas. The strike is virtual perfection and the surfaces nearly mark-free. An amazing example that we believe to be the finest in existence for the design.
1946 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67 This commemorative issue was widely distributed for funding of the Booker T. Washington
Birthplace Memorial and supposedly “to perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington and to construct memorials to his memory”. Walter Breen has opined that the real purpose was to enrich the promoter, instead. The building on the lower portion of the reverse of the coin is Washington’s log cabin birth-place. The other structure is the Hall of Fame at New York University. This issue spanned the years 1946 through 1951. Of particular interest are exquisite matched PDS sets for the initial years of 1946 and 1947. The 1946 set, representing the design’s inaugural year, is most probably the finest PDS set in existence in terms of superb surface preservation and remarkable coloration.
1946-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67
1946-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67
1947 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1947-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1947-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1948 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1948-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1949-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67
1950 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1950-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67
1950-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1951 Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1951-D Booker T. Washington PCGS MS66
1951-S Booker T. Washington PCGS MS67
1951 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66 According to Walter Breen, one of the stated reasons for the Washington Carver issues was “to
oppose the spread of communism among Negroes in the interest of National Defense”. However, he claimed that the real reason was to help the promoter S.J. Phillips avoid lawsuits over misappropriated funds and broken contracts and to pay off his creditors. The obverse design features the busts of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver. The reverse displays a map of the United States framed by the inscription “FREEDOM AND OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL** AMERICANISM”. There are 12 issues in this series that runs from 1951 through 1954, the final year Classic Silver Commemoratives were issued. Each of the Hidden Liberty coins were exceptionally high-end MS66s, each displaying lovely color, and many encapsulated in green tag PCGS holders.
1951-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1951-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1952 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1952-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1952-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1953 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1953-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1953-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1954 Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1954-D Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1954-S Washington-Carver PCGS MS66
1936 Wisconsin Centennial PCGS MS68 This issue commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of the Wisconsin territorial govern-
ment, which was celebrated locally through various events. The original design was courtesy of a University of Wisconsin student, David Parsons. The obverse features a badger on a log in addition to the state emblem and arrows signifying the 1830â€™s Black Hawk War. For its part, the reverse displays the Territorial Seal incorporating a pickax above a mound of lead ore. Sensational sky blue centers are surrounded by fiery orange and bright gold glowing along the peripheries. The strike, surface preservation and color combine to make this example a visual treat.
1936 York County Maine NGC MS68 Congress authorized the York commemorative half dollar for the three hundredth anniver-
sary of the founding of York County, Maine. Designed by Walter H. Rich, the obverse features a stockade and the reverse shows an adaptation of the York County seal. According to Walter Breen, Maine residents purchased more than half of the total production. It would be interesting to know what percentages of the productions of all of the other issues in the commemorative series were acquired locally.
Warm amber and aquamarine centers collide with orange, crimson, emerald and violet radiating from the rims like fire. Both sides are supremely well-matched and the pristine surface preservation complements the supreme beauty of this condition census example.
Hidden Liberty Collection Bibliography All photography in this catalog, as well as, the catalog design and layout was done by Matt Powell. All web design in relation to this collection was done by Christine Monk, and can be viewed at http://pinnacle-rarities.com/collections/ HiddenLiberty/hiddenliberty.html . The individual coin descriptions were written by Kathleen Duncan. The historical content of this catalog was researched and written by Mark Feld and Dan Duncan. All content within this catalog is protected under Copyright laws of the United States, and remains property of Pinnacle Rarities, Inc. as of, November, 2007. No part of this book may be reproduced without permission from Pinnacle Rarities. Bowers, Q. David, Commemorative Coins of the United States â€“ A Complete Encyclopedia, Wolfeboro, NH: Bowers and Merena Galleries, 1991 Bressett, Kenneth, A Guide Book of United States Coins -58th Edition, Atlanta GA: Whitman Publishing, 2004. Breen, Walter, Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, New York: FCI Press/Doubleday, 1988. Laibstain, Harry, Investing, Collecting & Trading in Certified Commemoratives, Virginia Beach, VA: DLRC Press, 1995 Swiatek, Anthony & Breen Walter, The Encyclopedia of United States Silver and Gold Commemorative Coins, New York: FCI Press/Arco Publishing, Inc., 1981 Taxay, Don, An Illustrated History of U.S. Commemorative Coinage, Arco Publishing Co., New York, 1967. An Introduction to Commemorative Halves, Pinnacle Rarities 2003. http://www.pinnaclerarities.com/ArticleViewer. aspx?doc=documents%5ccommemorative+coins%5cintrotocommemorativescoins.htm Thematic Collecting of Commemorative Coins, Pinnacle Rarities 2004. http://www.pinnaclerarities.com/ArticleViewer. aspx?doc=documents%5ccommemorative+coins%5cthematiccollectingofussilvercommemoratives.htm