US Coins

Top grade 1936 Long Island Tercentenary half dollar

A colorful 1936 Long Island Tercentenary half dollar graded MS-67+ with a green CAC sticker is tied with nine others as the finest graded by PCGS and brought $5,709.38.

Images courtesy of GreatCollections.

Collectors continue to gravitate toward top-graded coins for inclusion in the Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. Registry Set programs. This demand has placed pressure on the finest-known grades of otherwise common coins, and the weekly online auctions from firms like GreatCollections and David Lawrence, alongside increasingly frequent online auctions by Heritage, Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Legend Rare Coin Auctions, seek to satisfy collector demand for “top of the pop” coins.

Here is one example of a 20th century half dollar that is the finest grade certified by PCGS, from GreatCollections’ recent online auctions of the Centurion Collection:

The Lot:

1936 Long Island Tercentenary commemorative half dollar, PCGS MS-67+, CAC sticker

The Price:


The Story:

The explosion of commemorative coins in 1936 included the Long Island Tercentenary half dollar, which celebrated the 300th anniversary of the first non-native settlement on Long Island. The design was prepared by Howard Kenneth Weinman — son of Adolph A. Weinman who designed the Walking Liberty half dollar — with the obverse depicting a Dutch settler and a Native American. The reverse shows a ship traditionally described as a Dutch sailing vessel.

It had a substantial mintage of 81,826 and like most commemorative half dollars, remains widely available in Mint State grades, with nice Mint State 64 examples readily found for under $100 and even MS-66 representatives trading for around $300. PCGS has graded just 79 in MS-67 and only 10 in MS-67+ with none finer, and this one with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker and rich “tab” toning sold for $5,709.38 on Feb. 4. The toning is from storage in the original cardboard holder that many of these were sold in at the time of issue.

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