Greater Atlanta Coin Show
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Products showing Modern Commemorative Coins on the Greater Atlanta Coin Show's Numismatic Shoppe

Classic Coins - Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

The Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar Classic Commemorative Coin celebrated the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut in the early 1630s.

Characteristics - size, weight, metal content, value range
Obverse - picture, description, artist
Reverse - picture, description, artist
Commentary - coin notes, mintage information, historical comments, fun facts

On June 21, 1934, the second session of the 73th Congress approved an act which became Public Law 73-446 "to authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut." 

The law began, "That, in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Colony of Connecticut, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint twenty-five thousand silver 50-cent pieces of standard size, weight, and fineness and of a special appropriate 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 models for master dies or other preparations for this coinage.

"SEC. 2. That the coins herein authorized shall be issued at par and only upon the request of the chairman or secretary of the Connecticut Tercentenary Commission.

"SEC. 3. Such coins may be disposed of at par or at a premium by said Commission and all proceeds shall be used in furtherance of the Connecticut Tercentenary Commission projects."

The law continues by stating that all laws already in place applying to coinage shall also apply to these coins.

Characteristics - Connecticut Tercentenary 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: 1935

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 $182 (low grade - XF) to $600 (high grade - MS-66).

Extraordinary characteristics on the Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar can command a price outside the estimated value range. 

Obverse - Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

The obverse or front of the coin bears the image of an eagle with folded wings standing on a rock.

The coinage inscriptions say, United States of America, E Pluribus Unum, and Half Dollar.

Artist: Henry Kreis

Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar commemorative coin obverse

Reverse - Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

The reverse or back of the coin displays the image of the historical Charter Oak.

The coinage inscriptions read In God We Trust, Liberty, The Charter Oak, and Connecticut 1635-1935.

Artist: Henry Kreis

Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar commemorative coin reverse

Commentary - Connecticut Tercentenary Half Dollar

Though the stated mintage limit was "twenty-five thousand," records show an additional 18 over the 25,000 limit were minted.

The coin pictured above resides in an NGC holder and is graded as an MS-65. (NGC, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, provides coin grading and certification services.)

Versions of the coin also exist across a variety of the grades.

The Connecticut government's historical dates (opens in new window) show:

1614 - Adriaen Block, representing the Dutch, sails up the Connecticut River.
1633 - The Dutch erect a fort, the House of (Good) Hope, on the future site of Hartford.
1633 - John Oldham and others explore and trade along the Connecticut River. Plymouth Colony sends William Holmes to found a trading post at Windsor.
1634 - Wethersfield founded by colonists from Massachusetts.
1634 - First English arrive in Windsor.
1635 - Fort erected at Saybrook by Lion Gardiner.
1635 - Group from Dorchester, Massachusetts, joins Windsor settlement.

John Winthrop, Jr., was commissioned as "first governor of the river Connecticut" in 1635.

Adriaen Block in his log book for 1614 described  large oak tree that many believe to be the same tree known as the Charter Oak.

Local legend provides a tale of the importance of the Charter Oak.

Connecticut won a charter from King Charles II in 1662 allowing them self-government. 

But, King James II disagreed and sent British armed forces to Hartford in October 1687.

The British Army demanded the Charter from the governor and colonists.

Heated debates lasted for hours with the Charter on the table between the men.

Candles were lit, but at some point the candles went dark.

When re-lit, the charter was gone.

It's said that Captain Wadsworth took the document and hid it in the trunk of a giant white oak - the Charter Oak.

Another tale, not quite as dramatic, states that the colonists made a copy of the Charter and hid the original in the large oak tree.

Another version of the Charter Oak can be found on the 1999 Connecticut state quarter - seen here in the 1999 Proof Set.

Artist Charles de Wolf Brownell painted an oil on canvas version of the Charter Oak in 1857 (large picture, opens in new window, courtesy of the Wadsworth Atheneum art museum in Connecticut) 

Visit our GACS Numismatic Shoppe Connecticut Tercentenary for a variety of useful items decorated with images of the classic commemorative silver half dollar coin.


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