Up for discussion tonight is the half-dollar issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of California's admission to the Union as our 31st state. The coin is represented by an example in PCGS
The California Diamond Jubilee was celebrated in San Francisco from 5 to 12 September 1925. While preparing for the Jubilee, the California Diamond Jubilee Committee set aside funds to prepare and publish a history of the celebrations. Fortunately for me, the volume includes a nice discussion of the commemorative half-dollar including a review of how the coin came to be, the story of its design and its distribution. So, rather than write my own version of the history behind the coin, I will refer the reader to the pages presented below.Read More: Commems Collection
I will only add to the story the fact that the coin's initial design sketches did move through the review and approval process as smoothly as is indicated by the Committee. Joseph Mora's initial sketches did not impress James Earle Fraser
and, therefore, the Fine Arts Commission. In addition to suggested design changes, Fraser also recommended a more accomplished medalist be engaged to create the final models for the coin. The Committee chose to ignore the suggestions/recommendations and eventually won the battle. They got their coin, their way!
The coin shown is a brilliant example with original lustrous surfaces and some peripheral toning. While the vast majority of my coins are "white", there were times while I was building my collection that I came across a partially toned coin that simply had a wonderful original look and so it became part of my collection. (I have a very nice York coming up!) This California is one of those coins.
The coin takes a noticeable price jump starting at MS-65, but very nice MS-64 coins can be found with diligent searching. The coin I had before the one shown was a very choice MS-64 that I purchased at a fraction of the price of the present coin.
Enjoy! 1925 California Diamond Jubilee -- Obverse1925 California Diamond Jubilee -- ReverseCalifornia Diamond Jubilee Official History -- Title PageCalifornia Diamond Jubilee Official History -- Coin Page 1California Diamond Jubilee Official History -- Coin Page 2