1918  Illinois Centennial Half Dollar

 

 1918 Illinois Centennial Obverse     1918 Illinois Centennial Reverse

 

Click the images above for enhanced view.

Purpose:

 

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Illinois statehood and help finance county celebrations throughout the state.

 

 

Maximum Number Authorized: 100,000 pieces.

 

Sale Price: $1.00

 

Designs:

 

    Obverse – George Morgan

Bust of a beardless Abraham Lincoln facing right. Within the coin’s border appears the inscription “CENTENNIAL OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS.”

 

   Reverse – John Sinnock

An eagle with outstretched wings perched on the shield of the United States and a rock. In its beak the eagle holds a ribbon that contains the Illinois state motto. A rising sun with extended rays appears behind the eagle.

 

Online Resource: https://www.netstate.com/states/mottoes/il_motto.htm 

 

Popularity:

 

The Philadelphia Mint struck all the 100,000 pieces that were authorized. None were returned to the Mint to be melted. The majority of the coins were sold through the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

 

Trivia:

 

  • The Illinois Centennial was the first United States  coin to commemorate an event that was confined to a single state.

  • Even though Abraham Lincoln lived most of his life in Springfield, Illinois, he was born in Kentucky.

  • Eleven year old Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln encouraging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance. Miss Bedell actually met President-elect Lincoln on his way to his inauguration. She later married a Union Army veteran and died in Kansas two days before her 88th birthday in 1936. 

 

For more information:

 

Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek 

KWS Publishers (2012)

 

Commemorative Coins of the United States Identification and Price Guide by Anthony J. Swiatek

Amos Press Publishers (2001)

 

References:

 

Encyclopedia of the Commemorative Coins of the United States by Anthony J. Swiatek

KWS Publishers (2012)

 

The Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins 1892 to 1954 by Anthony Swiatek and Walter Breen

Arco Publishing, Inc. (1981)