About 1935 Arkansas Silver Commemoratives
The Arkansas commemorative half dollars honor the 100th anniversary of Arkansas’s admission to the Union, which occurred in 1836. However, the debut of the Arkansas halves happened a year before the centennial, in 1935. The Arkansas half dollars were designed by Everett Burr and the dies were prepared by Emily Bates. The obverse bears an eagle and rays, while the reverse of most Arkansas half dollars feature a jugate image of a Native American chief of 1836 and an American woman of 1935.
Like many commemorative types of the 1930s, the Arkansas half dollars were issued over the course of several years. The 1935 Arkansas commemorative half dollars were the first issues in this multi-year release that spanned five years. The Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints each issued the Arkansas half dollars, and of the three mints, the 1935 Philadelphia Mint issues by far boast the largest mintage. Arkansas half dollars were originally sold in three-piece sets (featuring the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco coins) for a price of $8.75.
While the Denver and San Francisco Mint pieces were minted in far small numbers than those from Philadelphia, examples of all three mints are readily available in the MS62-65 range. In MS66 these pieces are rare, and they are decidedly rare in grades of MS67 or higher. Eye appeal is a key consideration when buying Arkansas halves and strong premiums are paid for nice pieces.
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