1938 BLUE GREY REUNION COMMEMORATIVE HALF DOLLAR

$400.00 SOLD
Originally $450.00

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 842-03

Very nice condition coin, with just a slight amount of tarnish visible.  Obverse features a pair of busts, one of a Union soldier and one of a Confederate soldier. The inscription around the edges reads, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA   BLUE AND GRAY REUION”. In an arc above the soldiers’ heads is “LIBERTY” and below that is “E / PLURIBUS / UNUM”. Reverse features two shields, one representing the Union and other the Confederacy, divided by a fasces, with the date “1936” below. Around the edge is “1863  75TH ANNIVERSARY  1938   BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG”.

On June 16, 1936, Congress provided for the coinage of not more than 50,000 silver half dollars to be produced of a single design and struck at a single mint. Philadelphia artist Frank Vittor was hired to prepare the designs for the coins. In June 1937, 50,029 coins were struck in Philadelphia. Single coins were priced for sale at $1.65.

The reunion between the Blue and the Gray eventually took place as scheduled in 1938, and among those in attendance was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. Commemorative half dollars were among the souvenirs on sale there.

In August 1938 it was reported in The Numismatist that the unsold balance of the Gettysburg coins had been turned over to the American Legion - Department of Pennsylvania for further distribution. The American Legion raised the price from $1.65 each to $2.65 in the hope that this would increase sales. However, 23,100 remained unsold and were subsequently melted.

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