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

Classic Coins - California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

The silver classic commemorative California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar coin recognized the 75th anniversary of the State of California being admitted to the Union.

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 February 24, 1925, the 68th Congress approved an act which became Public Law 68-452 to recognize three historical anniversaries with three different coins. One of those coins was the California Diamond Jubilee half dollar.

Section 2 of the law included, "That in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the admission of the State of California into the Union there shall be coined at the mints of the United States silver 50-cent pieces to the number of not more than three hundred thousand, such 50-cent pieces to be of the standard troy weight, composition, diameter, device, and design as shall be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, which said 50-cent pieces shall be legal tender in any payment to the amount of their face value."

In addition, the law defined the delivery, "...shall be issued only upon the request of the San Francisco Clearing House Association and the Los Angeles Clearing House Association, or either of them, and upon payment by such associations, or either of them, to the United States of the par value of such coins."

The law concluded with the Proviso: "That the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the necessary dies and other preparations for this coinage." 

Characteristics - California Diamond Jubilee 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: San Francisco
Years Minted: 1925

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 $150 (low grade - XF) to $900 (high grade - MS-66).

Extraordinary characteristics on the California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar can command a price outside the estimated value range. 

Obverse - California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

The obverse or front of the coin features a kneeling figure of a man panning for gold, frequently called a forty-niner.

The coinage inscriptions include Liberty, In God We Trust, California's Diamond Jubilee, and 1925.

Artist: Jo Mora

California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar Obverse

Reverse - California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

The reverse or back of the coin shows an image of a walking grizzly bear. The grizzly bear can be found on the Great Seal of California, the California flag and is the state animal.

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

In addition, a small "S" for the San Francisco mint mark can be seen just below the "D" in Dollar.

Artist: Jo Mora

California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar Reverse

Commentary - California Diamond Jubilee Half Dollar

Though the stated mintage could be up to 300,000, records show less than 90,000 of the coins were distributed.

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 in higher grades such as an MS-66 grade.

The gold rush actually began in 1848 with the forty-eighters, but those people were mostly from California and nearby areas.

The forty-niners included people not only from the east coast of the States, but also people from Latin America, France, China, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia and other countries.

In 1849, California grew by roughly 90,000 people.

Between the start of the gold rush and 1855, 300,000 people flocked to California.

Local banks and gold dealers issued their own form of banknotes in exchange for gold.

Private mints began producing gold coins during the gold rush.

In 1854, the San Francisco Mint opened to produce gold coins for the US Mint.

The grizzly bear symbolizes California as "formidable and independent" on the Great Seal of California.

A chipped rock bear found at an archaeological site near San Diego in 1985 became the state prehistoric artifact, and California became the first state to designate a state prehistoric artifact.

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


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