David Hall: Today, the Hudson half dollar is one of the scarcer silver commemoratives. But in the time of its issue the Hudson was subject to controversy and distribution abuse. The event commemorated, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the city of Hudson, New York (population of 14,000 at the time), was pretty obscure to begin with. The original issue price was $1 per coin, but it was rumored that one dealer had purchased 7,500 of the original 10,008 mintage at 95 cents each. He (or someone) apparently held the hoard off the market as prices in the aftermarket soon reached $9. Collectors were outraged, but this was a situation often repeated in the 1934-1939 commemorative era.
Today, Hudsons are highly prized by commemorative collectors, especially in Gem condition. The typical Hudson grades MS63 to MS65. There are some circulated grade examples but the vast majority of Hudsons are mint state. Superb MS66 examples are rare, and there are only a handful of MS67 examples known. Most Hudson have semi-frosty luster and many are toned to various degrees. Strike can often be somewhat of an issue and sophisticated collectors look for specimens with "fully struck sails."
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