Best Buy: Commemorate History in Your Portfolio
U.S. Silver Commemoratives
The United States has a rich history of issuing coins to commemorate important events, people, places and institutions. This tradition began in 1848 when the U.S. Mint stamped a small number of quarter eagles with the word ‘CAL.’ These coins were made with metal from the California Gold Rush, and the Mint wanted to commemorate the occasion.
More commemoratives were released later in the 19th century, but numismatists consider the ‘golden era’ of U.S. commemorative coins to be 1930-1954.
During this time period, the U.S. Mint released a wide array of beautiful, historic and desirable issues. These coins are popular with collectors and investors alike which will help their value in the future. Right now, we believe these coins are undervalued, which makes them the ‘Right Coin at the Right Price.’
ASI is proud to offer graded, five (5) coin silver, low mintage, commemoratives sets which will not add history to your portfolio, but we believe they are at the right price to make you successful in the future.
or email me today
to add these commemorative coins to your portfolio. With only 30 sets they will not last long.
History and Rarity
In addition to being highly collectible, the commemorative coins of this era served a practical purpose. In many cases, the sale proceeds were used to erect monuments. For instance, a 1925 issue depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson was used to carve a monument at Stone Mountain in Georgia. The coins were issued with a legal tender face value of 50 cents and were retailed for a premium (often $1). If there was unsold inventory, the remaining coins often ended up in circulation.
Although these commemoratives often had a similar purpose or theme, their mintages varied tremendously. While most fell into the 25,000-250,000 range, a select group of commemoratives have tiny mintages under 10,000.
Amazingly, in this market, the ultra-low mintage commemoratives do not necessarily carry the highest market values. For example, the Hawaiian Sesquicentennial commemorative half dollar, issued in 1928, has a mintage of 10,008 pieces. In MS65 grade, the coin trades for $4,000-$5,000.
The 1928 Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar, with a mintage of 6,028, trades for less than $400 in the same grade! Numerous other examples like this exist.
Simply put, we believe the ultra-low mintage issues are grossly undervalued—both relative to other issues and as a category in general.
Many of these commemoratives can be purchased for $200-$750, yet they are far rarer than many coins costing thousands each. We first noticed this price discrepancy about a year ago and have been canvassing the market for low-mintage ‘commems.’ Our search validated how rare the coins truly are; a year’s worth of effort only yielded around 200 pieces. We checked with every dealer and had our eyes peeled at every major convention, but bought far fewer coins than we would have liked.
We saw very few pieces in general. Plus, adhering to our quality standards made the search even more difficult.
‘Classic’ commemoratives of the 1920s-1950s were often sold in cardboard holders. While attractive, these cardboard presentation cases were often made with sulfur and other reactive substances. The net result is that many early silver commems are blanketed with unattractive brown toning. We only bought coins that:
1. Met our standards for eye appeal
2. Were graded MS65 or MS66.
Worn, toned, damaged and unsightly coins were ignored.
We are pleased to offer thirty (30) sets of these ultra-low mintage commemorative half dollars, each set containing five historic issues. (Coins sold in sets will be either MS65 or MS66. Images below are for display only.)
Arkansas Centennial -
As the name suggests, this commemorative celebrated the 100th anniversary of Arkansas’ statehood. The obverse features a dual portrait of Liberty and a Native American. The reverse displays an outstretched eagle. These half dollars were struck in small quantities over a short five-year production from 1935-1939. Other than the 1935 Philadelphia issue, every date and mintmark combination in these series has a tiny mintage under 10,000. Arkansas commems are typically heavily toned; some exhibit beautiful rainbow coloration but most have dark, drab surfaces.
Daniel Boone Centennial -
This issue was first released in 1934 on the 200th anniversary of Daniel Boone’s birthday. The famous pioneer frontiersman appears on both side of the coin. The obverse shows a portrait view. The reverse shows him holding a map and musket while facing a Native American holding a tomahawk. In the first year, 10,007 pieces were struck, but productions levels dwindled from 1935-1938. The Philadelphia issues from 1934-1936 have mintages over 10,000, but all other date and mintmark combinations have production figures under 10,000.
Texas Centennial Half Dollar -
Many numismatists and art historians consider this to be the most beautiful silver commemorative. The obverse displays an eagle sitting in front of the Texas Lone Star. The reverse depicts the goddess Victory spreading her wings over the Alamo. The reverse design is noted for its intricacy - virtually the entire surface is covered in design features and symbolism. Much like its Oregon Trail cousin, the Texas commem had a large first-year mintage, but subsequent productions levels were miniscule.
Booker T. Washington Memorial -
These commemoratives were used to finance a Booker T. Washington monument in Virginia. The famous educator and leader is shown in the obverse. The log cabin where he once lived is depicted on the reverse. Many numismatists assume that all ‘BTW’ commems are common, as a massive number of pieces were issued in 1946 and 1947. Incredibly, over 2,000,000 pieces were sold to collectors in those two years. However, most of the 1948-1951 have extremely small mintages under 10,000. This misperception has made the low-mintage BTW halves some of the best values in numismatics.
Along with the Booker T. Washington half dollar, this is one of the last commemoratives produced during the ‘golden era.’ The coin displays both George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington on the obverse. The reverse shows a map of the United States. Much like the BTW, there is an enormous disparity in rarity between the various date and mintmark combinations. The 1952 Philadelphia version has a sizeable mintage of over one million pieces, but the Denver and San Francisco versions had mintages of just 8,006 each.
We are pleased to offer thirty (30) sets of ultra-low mintage commemoratives. Each five-coin set contains one of each of the following issues: Arkansas, Boone, Texas, Booker T. Washington and Washington-Carver.
Each piece in these five-coin sets has a mintage of less than 10,000 pieces. We have 20 of these sets in PCGS MS 65 and 10 in PCGS MS 66. Every coin, in addition to having a sub-10k mintage, has been selected for quality, appearance and overall eye appeal.
Compared to nearly any other United States coin, these rare commemoratives represent superb value. For example, consider the famous ‘key date’ 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent. This is a $500 coin in circulated grades and costs $1,000-$3,000 in Uncirculated. An MS66 will run $5,000. Yet, it has a mintage of 484,000 and tens of thousands have been certified by PCGS and NGC. By comparison, these ultra-low mintage commems can be purchased for under $400/coin in MS65 and under $700/coin in MS66 - and are dramatically rarer.
Take advantage of this month’s offer…
As a category, classic United States commemorative half dollars are some of the most attractive, fascinating and storied issues in American numismatics. Within the commemorative series, we see tremendous potential in a small number of highly undervalued dates with miniscule mintages. These are absolute rarities; a numismatist knows how scarce they are just based on the tiny original production levels.
Furthermore, very few pieces have survived in Gem Uncirculated grades, let alone MS66. If these were valued like virtually any other U.S. coin, they would be worth thousands each, not hundreds.
These five-coin sets offer the powerful combination of grade, rarity and profit opportunity. In all likelihood, it is just a matter of time before the market discovers what remarkable values these coins are.
This month, we put together thirty (30) sets of the five (5) coin silver commemorative set in the following two grades (certified by either NGC or PCGS):
MS-65 Silver Commemorative Set - call for pricing and avaliability
MS-66 Silver Commemorative Set - call for pricing and avaliability
Each set contains one of the following coins:
- Booker T. Washington
- All have a mintage of less than 10,000
- Coins may exhibit some toning
This is the delivered price.* There is no additional cost for shipping, handling or insurance. While supplies last, the price you see is the price you pay.
Call – 800-831-0007 - or e-mail me today to purchase your coins and to take advantage of this low price before the market discovers the price anomaly.
*Prices are subject to change based upon product availability and due to market fluctuation.