1921-S 50C MS (PCGS# 6585)

2012 August 2-5 US Coins Signature Auction- Philadelphia #1173

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1921-S 50C MS65 PCGS. The San Francisco Mint first opened its doors in 1854, following operation of the United States Assay Office before it. Original Mint operations beginning in 1854 were handled in a building that was acquired from Moffat and Company. The cornerstone for a second Mint building was laid in 1870, the doors opening four years later in November 1874, and the solidly built structure remained in operation until it was replaced in 1937. The Granite Lady still stands today, having survived the 1906 earthquake and others since that time. Today, care of the famous building is handled by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, with plans underway to operate a museum in the structure. The 1921-S is the premier condition rarity in the Walking half dollar series, sharing the spotlight with the 1919-D in Gem or finer condition. However, this issue has only the fifth lowest mintage behind the 1916-S, 1921, 1921-D, and 1938-D half dollars. Other Walkers with mintages below 1 million coins were the 1916, 1917-D Obverse, 1917-S Obverse and 1919 issues. Despite its low mintage, the 1921-S is actually a plentiful issue in the lowest circulated grades, and only becomes scarce when better than Fine. It becomes a condition rarity in AU or finer grades. In Gem quality there are few pieces to satisfy the demand of so many Set Registry collectors, and the collector who wants only the finest will most likely have to accept an MS65 example, as there is only one finer PCGS certified coin. The low mintage of the 1921 half dollars at all three mints, and the similar low mintages of other minor and small denomination silver coins in that year is directly attributed to the resumption of the Morgan silver dollar that was last produced in 1904. More than 20 million silver dollars were coined in Denver and more than 21 million were coined in San Francisco during the year, with almost 45 million minted in Philadelphia. The average San Francisco production was 40 coins per mi
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