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1936 Elgin, Illinois, Centennial Half Dollar


 1936 Elgin Centennial Obverse       1936 Elgin Centennial Reverse

Click the images above for enhanced view.



To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the city of Elgin and fund the construction of the Pioneer Memorial. 


Maximum Number Authorized: 25,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.50




    Obverse – Trygve Andor Rovelstad

A bearded pioneer, wearing a fur cap faces left. Above the primary design, the word “PIONEER” is inscribed. The commemorative dates are at the bottom and are separated by a star. The designer’s initials are found in the field below the beard.


   Reverse – Trygve Andor Rovelstad

Four adult pioneers including a mother holding her baby. The pioneer to the left is holding a rifle. The words “PIONEER MEMORIAL” are located in the left field with the words “ELGIN,ILLINOIS” found in the right field.




25,000 were struck for sale to the public. 5,000 unsold coins were returned to the Mint for melting.




  • The dates (1673-1936) have no connection with the city of Elgin. The date 1673 refers to the year French explorers Joliet and Marquette entered the general territory. The date 1936 refers to the year the coin was struck.

  • The bronze Pioneer Family Memorial sculpture was not dedicated until 2001.

  • Trygve Rovelstad wrote a book on the American bald eagle. No eagle appears on the Elgin Centennial half dollar.


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)


 American Eagle by Trygve Rovelstad

 Elgin Community College Publishers (1998)




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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