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:
Counterstamped 1925 Stone Mountain half dollar, Mint State 63
The price: $1,710.50
Among the more plentiful of the classic-era commemoratives is the 1925
Stone Mountain half dollar. While a normal MS-63 example might sell
for around $70, this one with a reverse counterstamp of ARK 203
brought a robust $1,710.50.
As reported by Anthony Swiatek in his Encyclopedia of the
Commemorative Coins of the United States, these counterstamped coins
were part of a private plan called the “Great Harvest Campaign” to
counterstamp Stone Mountain commemorative half dollars with letters
and numbers to create unique pieces.
The half dollars
were marketed to Southern states and a few are known to have had
certificates of ownership issued when they were sold. The same
lettering styles were used for the stamps, and Swiatek proposes that
they were likely produced by the Confederate Mountain
As most were purchased by noncollectors,
relatively few remain in Mint State condition with average examples
showing wear and occasional damage.
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