1938-D 50C Oregon MS (PCGS# 9349)

2010 January Orlando, FL FUN US Coin Auction #1136

  • Auctioneer:
    Heritage Auctions
  • Lot Number:
    2637
  • Grade:
    MS69
  • Price:
    $25,300.00
Lot Description
1938-D 50C Oregon MS69 S NGC. Four auction appearances in our Permanent Auction Archives record Oregon half dollars in MS69, although there are just two different coins, a 1937-D that appeared twice in 2005, and a 1938-D that was sold in July 2002 and August 2004. Three Oregon trails carry an NGC MS69 grade. The 1937-D has no designation, while the two 1938-D half dollars are both graded MS69 S. The Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar issue spanned more years than any other type, beginning in 1926 and concluding in 1939. The half dollars also really didn't commemorate anything. The intent of the original legislation was fundraising to erect monuments along the route, which began in Independence, Missouri, and ended at Fort Vancouver, Washington. The true purpose of the issue was greed. Members of the Oregon Trail Memorial Association, including Ezra Meeker who journeyed the trail in 1851, were hoping to line their own pockets with silver. According to www.coinsite.com, "the obvious abuses, profiteering, and behind-the-scenes political maneuvering didn't sit well with collectors of the day, but the relatively low mintages of the later issues kept sales brisk." Many original Oregon Trail half dollars exhibit "tab-toning" that duplicates the tabs holding the coins in their original holders. The present piece is slightly different, exhibiting album toning that is the result of this amazing piece being housed in a coin album containing sulphur. Most of the obverse and reverse surfaces of this amazing piece have satiny pearl-gray color, with vibrant peripheral iridescence. It is an incredible Superb Gem, essentially the finest in existence. Census: 2 in 69 S, 0 finer (11/09).
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