1934 50C Texas MS68
Talk about a busy design! There's a lot happening on this coin, with Texas independence, Winged Victory, the Lone Star, the Alamo, Sam Houston, Stephen Austin and lots of other details thrown in. This issue includes 13 different date/mintmark combinations, with mintages ranging from 61,463 to a mere 3,775 for the 1938-D. Remarkably affordable these days, even in MS67 (619 pieces). - Bruce Amspacher
The Texas Independence Centennial Half Dollar had a rather ambitious maximum authorized mintage of 1,500,000 pieces, well above the modest levels of other recent issues. Eventually, the coin would be struck in five different years across three different Mint facilities.
Most collectors consider the Texas Half Dollar to have one of the most beautiful or at least ornate designs with the series of early commemorative coins. Designed by Texas sculptor Pompeo Coppini, the obverse features an eagle clasping an oak branch with a large star in the background. The inscriptions around the image include “United States of America”, “Half Dollar”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “In God We Trust”, and the date.
The central figure on the reverse of the coin is the kneeling figure of winged Victory. In her right hand is a spray of laurel, while her left hand rests on a representation of the Alamo. Beneath each of Victory’s wings are portraits of the Texas heroes Sam Houston and Stephen Austin. Inscriptions include “The Texas Independence Centennial” above the image, “Liberty” on a banner”, “Remember the Alamo” and “1836-1936” below.
Initially the Texas Centennial Half Dollars were distributed by the American Legion Texas Centennial Committee at a cost of $1 each. More than 200,000 pieces were struck by the Philadelphia Mint, but after sales reached 61,436, the remaining quantity was sent back for melting. In the following year, coins would be produced at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints and sold for $1.50 each or $4.50 for a three coin set. Despite declining sales, the same coins would be struck and offered for the next three years.
Across all years and mints, the 1934-1938 Texas Independence Centennial Half Dollar has a mintage of 149,478. All issues remain relatively available today, with a premium attached to the low mintage 1938-dated coins.