1922 50C Grant Star MS (PCGS# 9307)
The March 2012 Baltimore Auction
Lot Number: 4171
View the Original Auction
Both varieties of the 1922 Grant Memorial Commemorative half dollar are conditionally challenging in today's market, examples being difficult to locate at and above the MS-65 grade level. This is particularly true of the Star variety represented here, the net mintage limited to a mere 4,256 pieces. In very select company at the MS-67 grade level, and unsurpassed at either PCGS or NGC, this Condition Census beauty exhibits rich charcoal-lavender and pinkish-rose toning here and there at the obverse border. The balance of both sides is much lighter in a slate-gray hue. Smooth, satiny and expertly preserved, this coin would serve with distinction in the finest commemorative set.<br />
<strong>Numismatic Reflections by Q. David Bowers<br />
</strong>When the 1922 Grant With Star was minted and issued no care was given to handling them carefully. They were tossed about in cloth bags, then shipped to buyers who often cleaned them. The emphasis on high grade so prevalent today was unknown at that time. By the time of the commemorative boom in 1935-1936, the 1922 Grant With Star was recognized as the key issue in the half dollar series. Today it has faded from the spotlight and, curiously, an issue that is relatively plentiful in high grade -- say a 1938 New Rochelle half dollar -- if in 68 or 69 preservation would probably attract more attention than this <em>really rare</em> Grant With Star at MS-67. This is a curious aspect of the present market. Traditional basic numismatic rarity -- a coin being scarce in all grades -- has given way to condition rarity.