Classic Coins - Long Island
Tercentenary Half Dollar
In 1936, the US Mint struck the Long Island Tercentenary Half Dollar Classic Commemorative Coin in celebration
of the 300th anniversary of the Dutch founding the first settlement on Long Island.
Characteristics - size, weight, metal content, value range
Obverse - picture, description, artist
Reverse - picture, description, artist
Commentary - coin notes, mintage information, historical comments, fun
On April 13, 1936, the second session of the 74th Congress approved an act which became Public Law
74-517 that authorized "the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the
founding of the first settlement on Long Island, New York."
The law began, "That in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the first settlement
on Long Island, New York, there shall be coined at a mint of the United States to be designated by the Director of
the Mint not to exceed one hundred 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 chairman or secretary of the Long Island Tercentenary Committee upon payment by him of the par
value of such coins, but not less than 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 committee and the net proceeds shall be used by it in defraying the
expenses incidental and appropriate to the commemoration of such event."
The law continues in Section 3 stating that all laws already in place applying to coinage shall also apply to
Characteristics - Long Island
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: 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 $65 (low grade - XF) to $640 (high grade - MS-66).
Extraordinary characteristics on the Long Island Tercentenary Half Dollar can command a price outside the
estimated value range.
Obverse - Long Island Tercentenary Half
The obverse or front of the coin features head images representing an Indian and an early European settler.
The coinage inscriptions say, Liberty and E Pluribus Unum.
Artist: Howard K. Weinman
Reverse - Long Island Tercentenary Half
The reverse or back of the coin shows a ship in full sail.
The coinage inscriptions read United States of America, In God We Trust, and 1936 Long Island
Artist: Howard K. Weinman
Commentary - Long Island Tercentenary Half
The stated mintage was "not to exceed one hundred thousand silver 50-cent pieces" and "coined at a mint."
Records show the Philadelphia Mint produced 81,826 of the Long Island Tercentenary half dollar coins.
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 coinage artist for the Long Island Tercentenary half dollar, Howard K. Weinman, had a notable coinage artist
for a father.
His father, Adolph A. Weinman, produced the designs for the Walking Liberty half dollar and the
Winged Liberty (Mercury) dime.
Today, the Walking Liberty obverse design can be seen on the American Eagle Silver coins.
Though not yet available, in Public Law 111-303 dated December 14, 2010, Congress approved the minting of
palladium bullion coins with the obverse to have "a high-relief likeness of the ‘Winged Liberty’ design used on the
obverse of the so-called ‘Mercury dime'."
Dated in April 1936, the New York Times printed a press release from the Albany, New York Governor's office.
"Governor Lehman sent invitations today to twelve Governors and representatives of five foreign nations to
attend a dinner in Brooklyn on June 6, which will mark the close of the Long Island tercentenary celebration."
Governor Lehman resigned from Lehman Brothers, investment banking, to serve in politics.
During the tercentenary celebratory year, he was in his second of four terms as New York's Governor.
The Garretson's family history told of the Prins Maurits, a Dutch ship, which shipwrecked near the Long
Island settlement in March 1657.
Three ships on their way from Holland to Delaware became separated.
Bad weather pushed the Prins Maurits past their destination of New Castle to run aground near
With help from the Indians, the crew and passengers made it to shore and sent a message to the Dutch colony at
Long Island for assistance.
The travelers finally achieved their destination in April.
Visit our GACS Numismatic Shoppe Long Island Tercentenary for a
variety of useful items decorated with images of the classic commemorative silver half dollar coin.