1921 Alabama half-dollar lends a variety of obverse, reverse alike: Market Analysis

Lower grade half-dollars offer nice value for collectors
By , Coin World
Published : 04/08/15
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Classic-era commemorative silver coins from 1892 to 1954 were made for collectors and were not intended to circulate. Some did, as the many circulated 1892 and 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition half dollars that are available today for a modest premium over their silver value show. Occasionally, lower-grade circulated commemorative coins can be found, beyond the typically encountered types such as the 1923-S Monroe Doctrine Centennial half-dollar. Oh, what stories these coins could share!

The Coin

1921 Alabama Centennial, 2x2 half-dollar, Very fine 30

The Price

$90

The Story

1921 Alabama Centennial commemorative half-dollars were designed by Laura Gardin Fraser and have two variants. One is the normal “plain” variety and the other one has a sunken “2X2” in the right field above the stars. This was to note Alabama’s status as the 22nd state of the Union and to create an additional version for collectors, and in turn, increased revenues.

The issue is notable for its obverse design, which includes the busts of William Wyatt Bibb, Alabama’s first governor, and T. E. Kilby, who was then-governor of Alabama. The depiction of Kilby marked the first use of a recognizable living person’s portrait on a U.S. coin.

This issue can be found in circulated condition with some frequency and this one, graded NGC Very Fine 30 sold for $90 at a Nov. 18, 2014, Heritage auction.

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