Classic Coins - Maryland
Tercentenary Half Dollar
The Maryland Tercentenary Half Dollar Classic Commemorative Coin celebrated the 300th anniversary of the
founding of the Maryland colony by Cecil Calvert, also known as Lord Baltimore.
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 9, 1934, the second session of the 73th Congress approved an act which became Public Law
73-215 "to authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of
the founding of the Province of Maryland."
The law began, "That, in commemoration of the three-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Province of
Maryland, 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 Maryland 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 Maryland Tercentenary Commission projects."
The law continues by stating that all laws already in place applying to coinage shall also apply to these
Characteristics - Maryland
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: 1934
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 $110 (low grade - XF) to $400 (high grade - MS-66).
Extraordinary characteristics on the Maryland Tercentenary Half Dollar can command a price outside the estimated
Obverse - Maryland Tercentenary Half
The obverse or front of the coin bears the likeness of Cecil Calvert, Lord Baltimore.
The coinage inscriptions say, United States of America, E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, Cecil Calvert,
and Half Dollar.
Artist: Hans Schuler
Reverse - Maryland Tercentenary Half
The reverse or back of the coin displays Calvert's coat of arms as part of the Great Seal of Maryland.
The coinage inscriptions read Maryland Tercentenary, Fatti Mascii Parole Femine, 1634-1934.
Artist: Hans Schuler
Commentary - Maryland Tercentenary
Though the stated mintage limit was "twenty-five thousand," records show an additional 15 over
the 25,000 limit were minted.
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.
The Maryland government describes the Great Seal of Maryland:
"The reverse of the Great Seal of Maryland consists of an escutcheon, or shield, bearing the Calvert and
Crossland arms quartered. Above is an earl's coronet and a full-faced helmet. The escutcheon is supported on
one side by a farmer and on the other by a fisherman. It symbolizes Lord Baltimore's two estates: Maryland, and
Avalon in Newfoundland."
In addition, they explain that "Fatti Mascii Parole Femine" loosely translated means "manly deeds, womanly
The preferred, more accurate, translation equates to "strong deeds, gentle words."
Not shown on the coin, the seal also contains a Latin phrase from Psalm 5 which translates to "with favor
wilt thou compass us as with a shield."
In November 1633, Cecilius Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, sent two ships, the Ark of Avalon and the
Dove, with colonists to the area granted to his family by King Charles I.
The colonists sailed from the Isle of Wight to a harbor "near where the river Potomac disembogues into the bay
Cecilius Calvert's brother, Leonard, sailed to America to govern the land and the people while Cecilius stayed
in England to protect the family's interests — at home and abroad.
Not a word heard every day, "disembogue" means to discharge contents by pouring forth, for example, to discharge
water, as at the mouth of a stream.
Visit our GACS Numismatic Shoppe Maryland Tercentenary for a variety
of useful items decorated with images of the classic commemorative silver half dollar coin.