Commemorative Coins of the United States

Grant with-star half dollars exist in at least three different die states: perfect dies (early), clashed dies (showing the effects of the dies coming together without an intervening planchet), and lapped dies (late state of the dies, repolished to remove clash marks).All pieces offered should be checked for authenticity, as numerous coins with faked (punched-in) stars exist. Many (but not all) of these spurious coins can be detected if they have a doubling at the G of GRANT on the obverse.

From the time the coins were issued collectors did not like the 1922 Grant half dollars, probably because the design was not considered to be as artistic as certain earlier issues and because of the controversy that arose concerning the "star" pieces. The lack of affection for the issues has continued to the present time and may account in part for the overlooking of the rarity of the "star" ha1f dollar variety.

GRADING SUMMARY: This issue is very difficult to grade, and often the experts will differ. Some Grant half dollars have deeply lustrous and frosty fields (particularly on the obverse), whereas others are partially prooflike. All obverses show minute raised die lines, often in wild profusion, which at first glance look like scratches or hairlines. Grant's hair above his ear and cheek will nearly always lack detail and will show evidence of friction. The reverse of this issue has a very complex design protecting the coin from obvious marks, although light striking and/or friction will sometimes be seen in the treetops. Use the "I will buy it only if I like it" principle when seeking this coin, and if a specimen is unattractive turn it down. Quite a bit of looking may be required to find a nice example, and even then it may not win a beauty prize.

1922 Grant Memorial, without star ("plain") Half Dollar


Commemorating: The centennial of the birth of Ulysses S. Grant
Obverse motif: Portrait of Grant
Reverse motif: Grant's boyhood home
Authorization date: February 2, 1922
Dates on coins: 1922 (also 1822)
Date when coins were actually minted: 1922
Mint used: Philadelphia
Maximum quantity authorized: 250,000
Total quantity minted (including assay coins): 95,055
Assay coins (included in above): 55
Quantity melted: 27,650
Net number distributed (including assay coins): 67,405
Issued by: U.S. Grant Centenary Memorial Commission (mail orders were serviced by Hugh I. Nichols, chairman, Batavia, Ohio)
Standard original packaging: Apparently, none
Official sale price: $1 Gater, 75¢)
Designer of obverse and reverse: Laura Gardin Fraser
Interesting fact: The identical motifs employed on Grant half dollars were also used on Grant gold coins, the only instance of this in the U.S. commemorative series.


(average market prices)

1925 MS-60 to 63 $1.25
1930 MS-60 to 63 $1.25
1935 MS-60 to 63 $2
1936 (summer) MS-60 to 63 $3
1940 MS-60 to 63 $1.50
1945 MS-60 to 63 $2.50
1950 MS-60 to 63 $2.50
1955 MS-60 to 63 $8
1960 MS-60 to 63 $12
1965 MS-60 to 63 $22
1970 MS-60 to 63 $25
1975 MS-60 to 63 $60
1980 MS-60 to 63 $450
1985 MS-60 to 63 $250
1986 MS-60 $140, MS-63 $450, MS-64 $775, MS-65 $1,600
1990 (spring) MS-60 $115, MS-63 $320, MS-64 $650, MS-65 $2,900
1990 (December) MS-60 $85, Ms-63 $130, MS-64 $420, MS-65 $1,400

Back to All Books