Classic Coins - Cleveland
Centennial Half Dollar
The Cleveland Centennial Half Dollar Classic Commemorative Coin celebrated the 100th anniversary of the city of
Cleveland OH in 1936 and its industrial contributions through the years.
Characteristics - size, weight, metal content, value
Obverse - picture, description, artist
Reverse - picture, description, artist
Commentary - coin notes, mintage information, historical
comments, fun facts
On May 5, 1936, the second session of the 74th Congress approved an act which became Public Law 74-552
that authorized "the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the centennial celebration of Cleveland, Ohio,
to be known as the Great Lakes Exposition."
The law began, "That in commemoration of the centennial anniversary in 1936 of the cit of Cleveland, Ohio, to be
known as the Great Lakes Exposition, and to commemorate Cleveland's contribution to the industrial progress of the
United States for the past one hundred years, there shall be coined at a mint of the United States to be designated
by the Director of the Mint not less than twenty-five thousand and not to exceed fifty thousand silver 50-cent
pieces of standard size, weight, and composition and of a special appropriate single design to be fixed by the
Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, but the United States shall not be
subject to the expense of making the necessary dies and other preparations for this coinage.
"SEC. 2. The coins herein authorized shall bear the date 1936, irrespective of the year in which they are minted
or issued, shall be legal tender in any payment to the amount of their face value, and shall be issued only upon
the request of the treasurer of the Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association upon payment by him of the
par value of such coins, but not less than twenty-five thousand such coins shall be issued to him at any one time
and no such coins shall be issued after the expiration of one year after the date of enactment of this Act . Such
coins may be disposed of at par or at a premium by such Cleveland Centennial Commemorative Coin Association, and
the net proceeds shall be used by it in defraying the expenses incidental and appropriate to the commemoration of
The law continues in Section 3 stating that all laws already in place applying to coinage shall also apply to
Characteristics - Cleveland
Centennial Half Dollar
Metal Composition: 90% Silver, 10% Copper
Diameter - millimeters: 30.6
Diameter - inches: 1.2
Weight - grams: 12.5
Weight - troy ounce: 0.401884332
Silver content weight - troy ounce: 0.3617
Mint Locations: Philadelphia
Years Minted: 1936
The coin's silver content alone makes it more valuable than its face value of $0.50.
But, the coin's age, its condition, and its desirability make it even more valuable as a collectible.
The coin's estimated value ranges from $85 (low grade - XF) to $240 (high grade - MS-66).
Extraordinary characteristics on the Cleveland Centennial Half Dollar can command a price outside the
estimated value range.
Obverse - Cleveland Centennial Half
The obverse or front of the coin shows an image of Moses Cleaveland, who founded Cleveland.
The coinage inscriptions say, United States of America, Half Dollar, Liberty, and Moses Cleaveland.
Artist: Brenda Putnam
Reverse - Cleveland Centennial Half
The reverse or back of the coin displays a map maker's compass poised over a map of the Great Lakes and pointing
to the northern and southern extremities of the lakes. The stars indicate the locations of major cities.
The coinage inscriptions read 1836, Great Lakes Exposition 1936, Cleveland Centennial, In God We Trust, and
E Pluribus Unum.
Artist: Brenda Putnam
Commentary - Cleveland Centennial
Though the stated mintage limit was to be "not less than twenty-five thousand and not to exceed fifty
thousand silver 50-cent pieces," records show an additional 30 over the 50,000 limit were
The coin pictured above resides in an NGC holder and is graded as an MS-66. (NGC, Numismatic Guaranty
Corporation, provides coin grading and certification services.)
Versions of the coin also exist across a variety of the grades.
General Moses Cleaveland as a representative of the Connecticut Land Company surveyed the 3.3 million-acre land
area called the Western Reserve.
General Cleaveland purchased title to the lands of the Western Reserver in June 1796 in a treaty with the
Senecas and Mohawks at Buffalo.
The Western Reserve tract of land cost a sum of money, two beef cattle and 100 gallons of whiskey.
What is now known as Cleveland, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie was part of the Western Reserve.
In their first census in 1802, the Cleaveland Township showed 76 men over the age of 21.
In 1814, Cleaveland received its charter as a village.
In 1820, Cleaveland's population had grown to 606 people with the surrounding Cuyahoga County at 6,328.
In 1831, the town's first newspaper, The Cleveland Advertiser, dropped the first "a" in order to fit the
name on its masthead.
Thus, the birth of the spelling of "Cleveland" as we know it today.
Visit our GACS Numismatic Shoppe Cleveland Centennial for a variety
of useful items decorated with images of the classic commemorative silver half dollar coin.