David Hall: The actual date of the Arkansas Centennial was 1936, but Arkansas commemoratives were issued at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints for each year from 1935 to 1939. This was the height of the pre-War commemorative craze. For the 1935 issue, the Arkansas Centennial Commission distributed some coins, while Texas dealer B Max Mehl purchased a large portion of the issue in bulk and resold them. For the 1936 issue, the Arkansas Centennial Commission did all the selling to the public. For the 1937 issue, the New York firm of Stack's was chosen to be the sole distributer. Then in 1938, the Arkansas Centennial Commission once again distributed all the sets.
The 1938 Arkansas did not sell as well as previous years. The coins were sold to the public as a three coin set (one from each Mint) for $8.75. Only 3150 sets were sold, making each of the three 1938 Arkansas issues among the lowest mintages of all U.S. commemorative coins. The three 1938 issues are about of equal rarity in MS63 thru MS65 condition, but in Superb Gem MS66 or better condition the 1938-D is by far the most common. The 1938 is not quite as rare as the 1938-S in Superb Gem condition.
The average grade for the 1938 Arkansas is MS63 to MS 65 with circulated examples being virtually non-existent as nearly all of the original mintage was saved. The typical 1938 has the typical subdued frosty "Arkansas" luster, unless toning is present...which is often the case.
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