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1921 alabama centennial half dollar

1921 Alabama Centennial Half Dollar


Purpose:

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Alabama's admission into the Union. Proceeds from the sale of the coin were used for funding “historical and monumental” activities.

 

Maximum Number Authorized: 100,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.00


Designs:


Obverse – Laura Gardin Fraser

Portraits of William Bibb and Thomas Kilby facing left. William Bibb was Alabama's first governor and Thomas Kilby was the governor in 1921. 22 stars appear in the field. The stars signify that Alabama was the 22nd state to enter the Union. A low mintage variety showing “2X2” incused behind the portraits were produced.


Online Resource: https://www.alabamapioneers.com/biography-william-wyatt-bibb/ 

   

Reverse – Laura Gardin Fraser

The Alabama seal which portrays an eagle with raised wings, perched on a shield of the United States, holding arrows in its talons and a scroll in its beak bearing the state motto. The seal was changed in 1939  to the original Alabama seal first adopted in 1819. Laura Gardin Fraser's initials are located just inside the rim behind the eagle's tail.


Online Resource: https://www.ereferencedesk.com/resources/state-seal/alabama.html  


Popularity:

Two varieties of the Alabama Centennial were produced. While the exact mintage number has been under debate, most sources indicate a total production of 70,000 pieces with 5,000 examples being returned to the Philadelphia Mint for melting. 


Trivia:

  • The Alabama Centennial half dollar is the first United States commemorative coin that depicts a living person. Governor Thomas Kilby appears on the obverse.

  • The Alabama state seal on the reverse was changed in 1939.

  • “Here We Rest” was the Alabama state motto at the time the half dollar was minted. When the state's seal was changed in 1939, a new motto of “We Dare to Defend Our Rights” became official.

  • Initially the coin requested was a quarter dollar but the final legislation changed the denomination to a half dollar.

  • The Alabama Centennial half dollar was the first United States United States coin designed by a woman (Laura Gardin Fraser). 

  • The Alabama Centennial Committee originally approved a design showing James Monroe and Woodrow Wilson on the coin.


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)

 

1921 Alabama Centennial Half Dollar     alabama centennial half dollar reverse


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