1936 providence, rhode island Banner

1936 Providence, Rhode Island, Tercentenary Half Dollar


 1936 Rhode Island Obverse       1936 Rhode Island Reverse

Click the images above for enhanced view.



To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Providence and help fund a memorial to Roger Williams.


Maximum Number Authorized: 50,000 pieces.


Sale Price: $1.00




    Obverse – John H. Benson and Arthur G. Carey

Roger Williams kneeling in a canoe with his right hand raised as a gesture of friendship. His left hand is holding a Bible. A Narragansett Indian is standing on the State Rock shore with his hand extended, greeting Williams. In the left background, behind the Narragansett is a stalk of corn. The sun is rising in the background. The anniversary dates “1936” and “1636” and the words “RHODE ISLAND” are located between the inner and outer borders. 


Online Resource: https://www.rogerwilliams.org/biography.htm


   Reverse – John H. Benson and Arthur G. Carey

A stylized state seal of Rhode Island. The Anchor of Hope is in the center of the coin with a ribbon above the anchor. The word “HOPE” is emblazoned on the ribbon.


Online Resource: https://www.americanheraldry.org/heraldry-in-the-usa/official-heraldry-in-the-united-states/arms-of-the-states/rhode-island




50,000 half dollars were struck  for sale to the public. The Philadelphia Mint was responsible for producing 20,000 coins while the Denver and San Francisco Mints produced 15,000 examples each. No coins were returned to the Mint. 


Rhode Island Tercentenary Celebration Online Resource:  





  • Even though the subject of the coin is to celebrate the founding of Providence, Rhode Island, nowhere on the coin does the name Providence appear.

  • Roger Williams was initially buried next to his home. When his house collapsed, a search for his remains took place with only teeth and bone fragments located. An apple tree root was found at the site which is in the shape of a human body. The body remains were relocated to Prospect Terrace Park and the tree root is in the possession of Rhode Island Historical Society.

  • In 1652, Rhode Island passed the first law in North America making slavery illegal.


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)


Roger Williams and the Creation of the American Soul: Churcg, State, and the Birth of Liberty by John M. Barry

Viking Adult Publishers (2012)




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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