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Commems Collection: 1918 Illinois Statehood Centennial - Trivia

 
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 Posted 05/13/2021  09:31 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Here are a few things about the Illinois Statehood Centennial half dollar that you might not be aware of:

1. The coin was the first to be authorized by Congress and approved by the President without including the name of its sponsor in its legislation. The unnamed sponsor was the State of Illinois Centennial Commission. (See below for a link to a post that discusses other coins with unnamed sponsors.)

2. The Illinois half dollar was the first US commemorative coin to sell out its entire authorized and delivered mintage (100,000) and thus not return any coins to the Mint to be melted; the Illinois coins were sold to the public for $1.00 each. A large group (believed to be ~30,000) was purchased by a Springfield, IL bank and held until March 1933 when they were discovered in the bank's vault during the Bank Holiday declared by newly-inaugurated US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt; most were sold to coin dealers at a small premium over face value, but it is believed that some (exact number unknown) were released into circulation.

3. An average of 25,348 coins were struck per die among the four obverse dies used; the average for the three reverse dies was 33,797. Doing a bit of math, it appears that 101,392 Illinois half dollars were struck. Subtract from that the 58 coins reserved for assay, and you arrive at 1,344 "extra" coins being struck. Many of these were likely defective and immediately melted; it is unlikely any were released or sent to the Illinois Centennial Commission.

4. The 1918 Illinois is the first US commemorative coin to include all three of the mottoes LIBERTY, E PLURIBUS UNUM and IN GOD WE TRUST within its design; previous issues either:

a. lacked them entirely: Isabella Quarter, Columbian Half Dollar, Lafayette Dollar, Lewis and Clark Exposition Gold Dollar, Louisiana Purchase Exposition Gold Dollar, Panama-Pacific International Exposition Gold Dollar, McKinley Memorial Gold Dollar
b. included one : Panama-Pacific International Exposition Half Dollar (IN GOD WE TRUST) and Gold Quarter Eagle (E PLURIBUS UNUM), or
c. included two: Panama-Pacific International Exposition Gold $50 (IN GOD WE TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM)

The three mottoes were not immediately included on all coins that followed the Illinois half dollar. In fact, the use of all three was fairly uncommon within the commemorative series until the mid-1930s from which point it became more the rule vs. the exception.

5. The coin was the first of the series to commemorate a statehood anniversary. Though it would become more of a regular occurrence, in 1918 it was something new. US commemorative coins issued prior to the Illinois were generally issued in conjunction with a World's Fair / Exposition vs. Statehood Anniversary. (See below for a link to a post that discusses other US Statehood commemorative coins.)

1918 Illinois Statehood Centennial Half Dollar


For more about the 1918 Illinois Statehood Centennial Half Dollar:

- 1918 Illinois Statehood Centennial
- 1918 Illinois Statehood Centennial - Revisited
- Lincoln's Portrait on the Illinois Half Dollar
- Official Seals on US Commemorative Coins

For other related discussions:

- US Commemorative Coins - Unnamed Sponsors
- US Commemorative Coins - Statehood Commemoratives

For other of my commemorative coin and medal posts, check out: Read More: Commems Collection.



Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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 Posted 05/13/2021  10:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent read, thanks!
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 Posted 05/14/2021  05:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add nickelsearcher to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great read as always commems.

You've likely published a thread on the various eagles that have appeared in the commemorative series. I'll go on record and state this example by John Sinnock is my favorite 'fighting eagle' (with a nod to the Illinois State Seal).

Also have a fondness for the Art Deco eagle on Henry Kreis Bridgeport half.
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 Posted 05/14/2021  07:23 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add commems to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@nickelsearcher: Thank you for the kind feedback. Here's a link to one of my posts that might be of interest:

- Illinois Half Dollar and the Illinois State Seal


Collecting history one coin or medal at a time! (c) commems. All rights reserved.
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