One of only 50 Specimen strikes
- Published: Feb 26, 2019, 4 AM
The 1938 New Rochelle half dollar was authorized on May 5, 1936, and 25,000 were to be sold for $2 each. Though carrying the date 1938, the mintage was struck at the Philadelphia Mint in April 1937.
Fifty pieces were struck on polished planchets from polished dies, receiving a single blow from the press, with the resulting half dollars showcasing deep prooflike surfaces. PCGS and NGC use the term “Specimen” for these, and several Matte Proof pieces exist as well.
Prooflike circulation strikes are seen as well, which can be confused with those 50 Specimen coins struck for presentation to members of the Coinage Committee, the Westchester County Coin Club, and various dignitaries.
Inside Coin World: Mint mark key to identifying counterfeit: A fake 1913-S Buffalo nickel, foreign coins pulled from Roosevelt dime rolls and 1873 Seated Liberty half dollars are column topics in the March 11, 2019, issue of Coin World.
Legend Rare Coin Auctions offered a PCGS Specimen 67 example with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker at its September 2018 Regency Auction 28 in Las Vegas. It had the reflective, chrome-like surfaces seen on the Specimen strikes, with Legend writing, “Brilliantly flashy silver surfaces shine blindingly all over!”
Legend further observed, “While overall, the classic commemorative market has shown softness in the last few years, Specimen and Proof strikings have done well and are interesting pieces for the advanced, specialist collectors.” It sold within expectations, realizing $11,750.
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