Ron Guth: 1946 marked the 100th anniversary of the "birth" of the state of Iowa. To honor the occasion, the mint produced 100,057 half dollars on behalf of the Iowa Centennial Committee. A medallist, Adam Pietz, was paid $1,000 to design the coin. The Iowa Half Dollars were offered in two ways: to Iowa residents at $2.50 each through an elaborate lottery system administered by banks, or for $3.00 each to anyone outside the state. Only 5,000 coins were set aside for sale to non-residents. An additional 1,000 half dollars were set aside, 500 of which would be sold to finance the sesquicentennial in 1996, and the remaining 500 to be sold to finance the bicentennial in 2046. All 1,000 of the set-aside coins were coated in lacquer for protection. The Iowa Half Dollar was a sellout in 1946; sales of those set aside for the 1996 celebration were not as successful because of the high selling price of $500 per coin. Unsold coins were held over for the 2046 celebration.
Sources and.or recommended reading:
"Last Of The State Half Dollars" b y Michele Orzano, COIN WORLD, July 24, 2000, p. 90
David Hall: No silver commemoratives were struck during the "war" years of 1940 to 1945. In 1946, the Iowa half dollar was struck to commemorate the centennial of Iowa statehood. The mintage was quite large, 100,057 coins. The issue price was a relatively high $2.50 for Iowa residents and $3.00 for everyone else. The coins were saved in large quantities and today the Iowa is one of the most common silver commemoratives of the 1892-1954 "classic era".
The average Iowa grades MS64 to MS66. MS67 examples are readily available and even MS68s are obtainable. In fact, the only grades in which an Iowas are rare are grades below AU50. Most Iowas are relatively mark-free and many have outstanding white frosty luster.