US Coins

Inside Coin World: Two 1926 commemorative half dollars

Collectors in 1926 could purchase commemorative half dollars from two different programs — the Sesquicentennial of American Independence and the Oregon Trail Memorial.

Original images courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Every weekly and monthly issue of Coin World has content exclusive to the print and digital editions, including columns and features that appear nowhere else.

Here is a preview of three of those exclusive articles in the Dec. 30, 2019, issue.

Coin Values Spotlight: Two 1926 commemorative halves

In 1926, collectors could purchase commemorative half dollars from two different programs — one celebrating the Sesquicentennial of American Independence and the other seeking support for the Oregon Trail Memorial. As Paul Gilkes writes in his “Coin Values Spotlight” column, neither program resulted in a sellout of the half dollar.

The two coins were designed by different artists and were sold at face value to the organizations conducting the celebrations. Each half dollar was then marketed by those organizations at twice its face value, to raise funds for the designated organization.

Read more about the two programs and the current state of the market for the two coins, found only in the digital and print editions of the Dec. 30 issue of Coin World

The Joys of Collecting: Great Depression boosts hobby

The stock market crash of 1929 led to the Great Depression, throwing Americans out of work and leading to the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt as president in 1932. Roosevelt took steps early in his administration that were unpopular with coin collectors, but the times were not entirely bleak.

As Q. David Bowers writes in his “The Joys of Collecting” column, coin collecting was actually boosted during the Great Depression. Although money remained tight for many, pulling cents and other small-denomination coins from circulating made for an inexpensive hobby. Also introduced were albums and folders in which collectors could store their collections.

Read more about the Great Depression and its effect on coin collecting in David’s column, found only in Coin World

Designs of the Times: Bust half dollar collection is sold

In his “Designs of the Times” column in the Dec. 30 issue, Brad Karoleff reports on a recent auction of a Bust half dollar collection that was nearly complete by die marriage. As Brad reports, the collection offered Flowing Hair, Draped Bust and Capped Bust half dollars from 1794 to 1836.

“The E. Horatio Morgan Collection was sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries on Nov. 15,”  Brad writes. The name “Morgan” was a pseudonym for the collector, who was a longtime researcher in the field. The auction included, not only hundreds of coins, but also his original research in three-ring binders.

To learn more about the collector, his importance to the field and details about his collection, read Brad’s article, found only in the print and digital editions of the Dec. 30 issue of Coin World

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