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1926 Sesquicentennial of American Independence Half Dollar



 1926 Sesquicentennial Obverse       1926 Sesquicentennial Reverse


Click the images above for enhanced view.



To commemorate  the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and finance the Sesquicentennial Exposition held in Philadelphia.


Maximum Number Authorized: 1,000,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.00




    Obverse – John Sinnock

Heads of George Washington and Calvin Coolidge facing right. The designer’s initials are found on the truncation of Washington’s bust.


Online Resources: https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/george-washington/ 




   Reverse – John Sinnock

The cracked Liberty Bell is located in the center of the field. Inside the raised border is the inscription “SESQUICENTENNIAL OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE.” 


Online Resource: https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/stories-libertybell.htm  




All of the 1,000,000 half dollars authorized were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. The National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission overestimated interest in the coin. The Exhibition itself was well-attended but there was little interest in the coin. 859,408 half dollars were returned to the Mint and melted.


Sesquicentennial Exhibition Online Resource:





  • Calvin Coolidge holds the distinction of being the only living president to appear on a United States coin.

  • The first half dollar struck was presented to Coolidge when he attended the Exhibition.

  • The names “Pass and Stow” on the Liberty Bell refers to the company that recast the bell after it initially cracked. This was the first time a private company name appears on a United States coin.

  • The Sesquicentennial Exposition displayed an 80 foot replica of the Liberty Bell that used 26,000 light bulbs.


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)


Sesqui!: Greed, Graft, and the Forgotten World’s Fair of 1926 by Thomas H. Keels

Temple University Press Publishers (2017)




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)



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