Editor's note: this is the final part of a story about collecting 50-cent coins (and equivalents) by Jeff Starck that appeared in the January 2016 monthly issue of Coin World.
The range of topics available to collect through 50-cent or equivalent coins is broad, and could includes birds, animals, medical symbols, national leaders, multisided coins, historically important issues, and even one-year type coins.
The 1953 50-centavo coin from Cuba qualifies under several of those categories.
The popular one-year type coin honors the centennial of Jose Marti’s birth. Marti was a Cuban patriot and poet during the 1898 Spanish-American War.
The coin predates the tainted Fidel Castro era and decades of U.S. sanctions that were recently lifted.
Another nation seized by the United States during the Spanish-American War is the Philippines, which issued 50-centavo coins during and after U.S. administration.
A popular one-year type of that denomination is the 1947-S coin honoring Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the American general who famously vowed to return to the islands (he did). The 50-centavo coin is a companion to a larger silver peso also showing the general.
Peru’s half-sol coin was equivalent to 50 centavos. The half-sol coin from 1965 highlights the 400th anniversary of the Lima Mint with the famous “Pillars of Hercules” design prevalent on so many Spanish Colonial silver coins.
Liberia, a nation born of American slaves, depicts a beautiful native African woman on its 50-cent coin from 1960 to 1975 (and again in 2000).
Malta’s 10-sided 50-cent coins shows a monument to the 1565 siege of Valleta, a successful repel of an attack from the Ottoman Empire.