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Superb Gem 1922 Grant Star Half Dollar

1922 50C Grant with Star MS67 NGC. Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War General and President of the United States, was born on April 27, 1822 in Point Pleasant, Ohio, on the Ohio river southeast of Cincinnati, his family moving 24 miles to Georgetown, Ohio in 1824. A century after his birth, it was desired to have a commemorative issue produced to commemorate Grant's birth and his life. Although Grant served throughout the Civil War, he is best remembered as the officer who accepted Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, Virginia in April 1865. Three years later, he was elected President and served two terms without particular distinction, and afterwards wrote his memoirs, finishing just days before his death on July 23, 1885. Rumor has it that he was actually buried in Grant's tomb in New York city.
Profits from the various Grant commemorative issues were earmarked to provide suitable memorial buildings in southern Ohio. The original request from the Ulysses S. Grant Centenary Memorial Association was for 200,000 gold dollars. Half Dollars were not suggested, however, legislation was changed to authorize just 10,000 gold dollars along with 250,000 half dollars. Dave Bowers noted the significance (or lack thereof) of the varieties of these coins: "The Centenary Memorial Association was aware of the extra profits reaped by the distributors of Alabama and Missouri half dollars, so they too desired to have a special mark on their coins, but, not being able to devise anything significant in the way of an emblem, they came up with the idea of putting an otherwise meaningless star on the obverse of about half the issue of gold dollars." Although the committee did not request additional half dollar varieties with the star on the obverse, this bonus was provided, a fact they apparently only discovered when they received the coins.
The May 1922 issue of The Numismatist, carried a report about these issues: "The Grant coins differ from other commemorative coins heretofore issued in that there is no inscription on them telling of their nature or object--no reference to a Grant Memorial--the designs alone telling the story. In design and execution they are the equal of any of our recent commemorative issues, all of which have proved exceedingly popular with collectors."
This particular Superb Gem example was offered by us not too long ago, and was described as "Seldom do we have the opportunity to offer a Commemorative Half Dollar of any issue with simply extraordinary originality. The fact that the present example is a Superb Gem representative of a conditionally challenging, key date issue should really excite bidders who specialize in these highly collectible coins. Rich champagne-apricot and dove-gray toning overlays the centers within rings of lavender, cobalt-blue, and golden-orange rim patina. The often seen striations (as struck) are evident, but not overly distracting, and there are no abrasions that would call into question the MS67 designation. A special coin that is sure to inspire spirited bidding." Population: 4 in 67, 0 finer (7/04).(#9307) (Registry values: N10218) (NGC ID# BYPP, PCGS# 9307)

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Auction Dates
September, 2004
9th-11th Thursday-Saturday
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 6
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 2,424

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