1935-1939 arkansas centennial banner

1935-1939 Arkansas Centennial Half Dollar


 1936 ARKANSAS Obverse       1936 ARKANSAS Reverse

Click the images above for enhanced view.



To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the admission of Arkansas into the Union and to raise funds for statewide celebrations.


Maximum Number Authorized: 500,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.00

                   $8.75 for 1937 and 1938 sets.

                   $10 for 1939 sets.



    Obverse – Edward Everett Burr

Heads of a Native American Chief wearing a headdress and Lady Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap. Both heads are facing left. The centennial dates appear in the left lower field. “ARKANSAS CENTENNIAL” is located at the bottom of the design.


Online Resource: https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/entries/centennial-celebration-4233/  


everse – Edward Everett Burr

An eagle with outstretched wings facing right. The eagle is perched atop a sun. The eagle holds within its beak, a ribbon bearing two mottoes: “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” Three stars are positioned directly above the eagle. A single star is located just above the name “ARKANSAS.” Above the eagle is an outline of the top portion of a diamond embedded with 13 stars.


Online Resource: https://constitutingamerica.org/arkansas-a-brief-history-of-statehood-guest-essayist-the-honorable-tim-griffin/  




Of the 500,000 coin authorized, 95,300 were minted to be sold to the public. Of those minted, 9,600 were returned to the Mint. Coins were manufactured from all three branches from 1935 through 1939.




  • The first coins for this series were minted one year before the Arkansas celebration took place.

  • Proceeds from the sale of the coin were used to finance welcome stations and the printing and distribution of centennial promotion material.

  • At the end of 1936, the Arkansas Centennial Commission wished to divest itself of all remaining inventory. Dealers purchased them in bulk. Collectors could now purchase the coin all across the U.S. except in Arkansas. The coins came to be known as the “Orphan Issue.”

  • Arkansas has the country’s only active diamond mine.


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)




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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