1935/34-D 50C Boone MS (PCGS# 9263)

2009 May Long Beach, CA Signature US Coin Auction #1125

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    Heritage Auctions
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Lot Description
1935/34-D 50C Boone MS68 PCGS. The Boone Bicentennial commemorative half dollars, first issued in 1934, continued to be minted through 1938. The 1935 issue was the subject of one of the biggest scandals of the era. A special mintage of these coins was authorized with the 1935 date on the obverse, and a small 1934 date on the reverse to retain the actual 200th anniversary date of Boone's birth on the coins. Only 2,003 pieces of this variety were coined at the Denver Mint, with a similar small mintage at San Francisco. Unscrupulous distributors advertised the rarity of these coins and solicited orders from the collecting public. Most of the orders were returned unfilled, with a note stating the supply had been exhausted before the orders were received. In reality, the distributors hoarded the coins to create heightened demand, and sold them for exorbitant prices when demand peaked. This practice resulted in public outrage when the details became known, as revealed in many letters to The Numismatist in 1936. The present coin is a magnificent specimen, sharply struck, with lustrous surfaces and subtle gray-gold and lilac toning. Only 12 coins have been certified at the MS68 level by NGC and PCGS combined, with none finer at either service (4/09).
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