The following post is pulled from Coin World editor Steve
Roach’s Market Analysis column in the July 28 issue.
Classic-era commemorative half dollars from 1892 to 1954
generally weren’t meant to circulate. A large percentage of nearly all
issues survive in Mint State grades and collectors are passionate in
their devotion to the series.
Each issue has its own
unique look, but because the designs are less familiar than, say, a
Barber half dollar, they often invite close inspection.
Here is one of three from a GreatCollections.com auction that closed July 6,
2014, with great lessons to share:
1950-S Booker T. Washington half dollar, Uncirculated Details,
The price: $26
The story: The Booker T. Washington commemorative coin series
was a mammoth 15-coin series struck between 1946 and 1951 at the
Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints.
coin is one of the higher mintage issues in the series and is
generally priced in most grades as a “type” piece for the issue. It’s
readily available in grades up to and including Mint State 65.
Silver coins often acquire toning over time as their surfaces
react with their environments. Sometimes the toning on a silver coin
is artificially applied to mimic the natural toning that occurs over
This looks to be the case on this example that
Professional Coin Grading Service has graded Uncirculated Details,
Questionable Color. Naturally toned coins, especially Booker T.
Washington half dollars, rarely appear with this sort of almost
painted on color in orange, blue and purple shades.
Still, some people love wild color on coins, regardless of whether or
not it is natural, and this example brought $26, right in line with
what an average Mint State example might bring at auction.
Check out the rest of Steve Roach's Market Analysis column:
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