1936 50C Cincinnati MS (PCGS# 9283)

Rarities

  • Auctioneer:
    Stack's/Bowers
  • Lot Number:
    7471
  • Grade:
    MS67
  • Price:
    $17,250.00
Lot Description
Essentially perfect for the grade, with a few minute signs of contact on the uppermost devices and toned with resplendent teal and russet at the rims with satiny silver centers. The strike is bold throughout. Noteworthy is the quality of the fields, simply splendid and utterly mint-fresh save for the delicate toning from years of careful storage. Clearly these coins did not jostle about from the day they were issued, but carefully preserved and developed glorious toning in many cases. An exciting opportunity for the specialist as this is one of the two finest graded of this date.<br /> <br /> <strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers<br /> </strong>This is one of the more interesting commemorative coins from the prolific year of 1936. Thomas Melish, Cincinnati industrialist, was well-connected politically and envisioned an opportunity to have Congress authorize the minting for him of his own commemorative half dollar. This is true. In this era, commissions, often set up under questionable circumstances, could apply through a favorite congressman to have a coin minted for some lofty purpose&mdash;such as observing the anniversary of something or the significance of something else. No due diligence was done by Congress, and as a result quite a few commemoratives ended up being money in the pockets of private individuals, the most notable being Frank Dunn of Lexington, Kentucky, who had charge of the Boone Bicentennial commemorative half dollars first issued in 1934 and last in 1938. Another caper was practiced by L.W. Hoffecker, a rare coin dealer (Watkins Coin Company) in El Paso, Texas. He dreamed up the idea of the Old Spanish Trail coin, commemorating a route taken by early pioneers across the southern part of what is now the United States. He claimed backing by a museum in El Paso, but an effort to check museum records or find any evidence that the museum ever benefited from this game yielded absolutely no results. Hoffecker had only 10,000 pieces struck
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