1946-1951 Booker T. Washington Half Dollar

1946-1951 Booker T. Washington Half Dollar


To perpetuate the teachings of Booker T. Washington, and to provide funds to purchase, construct, and maintain memorials to his memory.

Maximum Number Authorized: 5,000,000 pieces.

Sale Price: $1.00 for each 1946, $3.00 for each 1951

                   $1.50 for each 1946-D or S

                   $ 6.00 for a 3 coin set 1947

                   $7.50 for a 3 coin set 1948

                   $8.50 for a 3 coin set 1949, 1950, 1951


    Obverse – Isaac Scott Hathaway

Three-quarter bust of Booker T. Washington. His name is underneath the bust at the bottom of the coin. The date is located in the left field.

Online Resource: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/booker-t-washington


   Reverse – Isaac Scott Hathaway

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans. Below the building is a depiction of the cabin in which Washington was born. Between the two structures is the inscription “FROM SLAVE CABIN TO HALL OF FAME.” “FRANKLIN COUNTY,VA” is located in the right field by the cabin. “BOOKER T. WASHINGTON MEMORIAL” is just inside the rim.

Online Resource: http://www.bcc.cuny.edu/about-bcc/history-architecture/hall-of-fame/


Minted over the course of 6 years, the total mintage struck for sale to the public was 3,166,000. The public purchased 1,574,369 leaving almost 1,600,000 eventually returned to the Mint and melted.


  • Isaac Scott Hathaway was the first African American to design a United States coin.

  • Booker T. Washington was the first African American to appear on a United States coin. He is one of two African Americans to appear on two coins, the other being Jackie Robinson.

  • The “T” in Washington's middle name stood for Taliaferro.

  • Many Booker T. Washington half dollars were released into circulation.

  • In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt invited Washington to dine with he and his family at the White House.

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)

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

Doubleday, Page & Co. (1901)


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)

 1947 Booker T Washington Obverse       1947 Booker T Washington Reverse

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