Tonight's offering is a commemorative half-dollar that marks two distinct dates in Norfolk's history: the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Borough of Norfolk and the 300th anniversary of the land grant that led to the founding of the Village of Norfolk. The coin is represented by an example in PCGS
This one definitely falls into the "Local Significance" category of US commems (vs. "National Significance") and is indicative of how crazy the commemorative coin area had gotten by the mid-1930s. It would have been great to have been a fly on the wall when the folks from Norfolk explained how the transition of the Village of Norfolk to the Borough of Norfolk in 1736 was an event of such significance that it merited a US commemorative half-dollar. (It should be noted that a commemorative medal was initially authorized for the occasion but it was later "upgraded" to a half-dollar after intense lobbying efforts by the sponsoring Norfolk Advertising Board.)Read More: Commems Collection
The coin is the work of the husband and wife team of William Marks Simpson and Marjorie Emory Simpson, who together created one of the more distinctive coins of the classic series. The coin holds the record for the most words/letters used on a US commemorative coin -- the designers barely had room for any graphic elements!
At the center of the obverse is a three-mast sailing ship, a plow and three sheaves of wheat; this design was taken directly from the Norfolk Seal. Surrounding these graphic elements are three concentric rings of inscriptions (see enlarged image below for details). The obverse commemorates Norfolk's Borough status bicentennial.
The coin's reverse features the Royal Mace of Norfolk and lots more words! The Royal Mace is a link to the original Land Grant of 1636 -- the tercentennial side.
You'll notice in the image below that the coin includes five different dates: 1636, 1682, 1736, 1843 and 1936. Too bad none of the dates represent the year the coin was struck -- 1937. The Norfolk is another example of a US commemorative coin that was authorized and struck in a year not matching the year being commemorated.
The coin presented is a flashy, brilliant example with gorgeous cartwheel luster.
I've also included images of the original holder used by the Norfolk Advertising Board to hold/mail purchased coins, as well as the coin's original Order Form.
I could go on, but I've said enough...
Enjoy!1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Obverse1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Obverse (Enlarged)1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Reverse1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Original Holder, Front1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Original Holder, Interior1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Original Holder, Back1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Original Ordere Form, Front/Back1936 Norfolk Bicentennial -- Original Ordere Form, Interior