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June 1

1918 Lincoln-Illinois Centennial Half Dollar

It was on June 1st in 1918 that legislation would pass authorizing 100,000 Illinois Centennial Half Dollars. The silver half would mark the centennial year of the state of Illinois and be the first commemorative issued to sell the full authorized mintage.

Two designers would be needed for the Illinois Centennial Half design since the centennial year was nearly over. The Mint Chief Engraver George T. Morgan would create the obverse portraying a young Abraham Lincoln and John R. Sinnock would complete the reverse depicting a grand version of the Illinois state seal.

You can read more regarding the Lincoln-Illinois Centennial Half Dollar and many more classic and modern commemorative coins in the upcoming Coin Library.

Twenty-Cent Piece and Carson City Mint

1875 CC Twenty-Cent Piece

Also on June 1 but in the year of 1875 production of the twenty-cent piece would began at the Carson City Mint. Production at the Philadelphia Mint had begun on May 19th and the San Francisco Mint would begin sometime between the 1st and the 17th. The twenty-cent piece would have a smooth rim unlike the reeded quarter but they were often confused due to their similarities in size and almost identical obverse design. This confusion would lead to the unpopularity and a very short production span as it would be abolished in May of 1878. Low minting numbers and the authorized melting that included 12,359 pieces in 1877 at Carson City led to what is a true coin collecting rarity, the 1876 CC- twenty-cent piece.

I’ll write much more about the twenty-cent piece in the upcoming Coin Library but an interesting fact regarding the denomination is that Americans were familiar with the twenty-cent piece before the coin because they were passing a Spanish coin known as a “pistareen” for twenty cents.

Featured images includes a 1918 Lincoln-Illinois Centennial Half Dollar and 1875 CC Twenty-Cent piece acquired with permission at David Lawrence Rare Coins. If your interested in purchasing rare and collectible coins, you can find many exceptional pieces at their website.