About 1936-PDS RI Set Silver Commemoratives
The 300th anniversary of the founding of Providence, Rhode Island, by Roger Williams was marked on this commemorative half dollar, struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints. Rhode Island half dollars were distributed for $1 apiece, though some unscrupulous types announced the coin had sold out much more quickly than it did, causing a rush to buy the coin at huge premiums before the collecting public discovered the truth. This is one of yet many such instances of abuse and scandal that marked the commemorative program during the mid 1930s.
The Rhode Island half dollar was designed by Arthur Graham Carey and John Howard Benson and depicts a rather modernistic abstract obverse depiction of Roger Williams being greeted by a Native American upon arriving on his boat. The reverse features an anchor within a shield design carrying the word HOPE. The design is somewhat low relief with some broader flat surfaces, providing more numerous places for nicks and marks to become visible on the coin.
Most examples are known in uncirculated grades of MS63-65, with MS66s proving scarce and pieces grading MS67 or higher quite rare. Many specimens are quite frosty, though buyers should keep an extra close eye for detractions and anything else inhibiting eye appeal.
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