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1925 Stone Mountain Commemorative Half Dollar

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The 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar. Courtesy of PCGS TrueView. Click image to enlarge.

My endeavors to write about the four U.S. commemorative coins of 1925 ahead of their centennial anniversary lead me to the 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar. I’ve written about the 1925-S California Jubilee and the 1925 Lexington Concord Half Dollar in prior articles. The California and Lexington issues were quite successful. Interestingly, the stories about the two other 1925 issues, the Stone Mountain Half Dollar I cover here and the Vancouver Half Dollar could not be more different, certainly as reflected in mintage numbers!

Consider the distribution figures for the four 1925 U.S. commemoratives:

  • 1925-S California – 86,394
  • 1925 Lexington – 161,914
  • 1925 Stone Mountain – 1,310,000
  • 1925 Vancouver – 14,966

These numbers are highly illustrative in terms of relative supply and market prices of all four issues today. While the distribution totals for these coins are all over the board so to speak, they clearly illustrate the most- and least-common of the four coins. The Stone Mountain Half Dollar is certainly the most common, even today.

The 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar was produced to raise funds for the completion of the Stone Mountain Memorial near Atlanta, Georgia. The Stone Mountain Monumental Association advocated for the issuance of the coin in 1925 in an effort to complete a massive sculpture cut into the granite outcropping of Stone Mountain. The sculpture measures 90 feet in height and 190 feet in length, with bas-relief features cut as deep as 42 feet into the outcropping.

Work on the sculpture occurred in fits and starts over the course of nearly five decades. Stone Mountain Park was officially opened on April 14, 1965, with a dedication for the Stone Mountain sculpture occurring on May 9, 1970. Final work was completed in 1972.

By the 1970s, the 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar had already become known in the numismatic hobby as a widely available and relatively affordable coin – distinctions this issue claims today. With more than 1.3 million examples out there, this coin sees virtually no shortage of overall supply. In all but the loftiest PCGS grades, the Stone Mountain Half Dollar remains both highly available and affordable for many budgets.

The Stone Mountain Half Dollar is often one of the first classic U.S. commemoratives collectors buy because of both its lower price and broad availability. In grades up to PCGS MS64 there have been public sales registering between $100 and $140 over the course of 2023 and 2024. For those who pursue higher-grade PCGS examples, the nature of the production and strike of the coin itself determine grade and eye appeal. Nice examples of the Stone Mountain Half Dollar are available in PCGS grades up to MS67+. Yet, even in that high grade, the 1925 Stone Mountain Half Dollar sells for less-than-astronomical prices, as exemplified by a PCGS MS67+ specimen that took $1,500 in a November 2023 Heritage Auctions sale.

Currently, the finest-known specimens grade PCGS MS68+ and number at just three specimens. This is perhaps where a more esoteric challenge comes in when acquiring this coin, as the PCGS Price Guide lists examples in PCGS MS68+ at $32,500; there have been no public sales listed to boot. Moving a notch down in grade to MS68, there are six PCGS-graded MS68 specimens out there. The PCGS Price Guide lists MS68 examples with a value of $22,500, but getting your hands on one may not be so easy even if you have the money. The last time an MS68 specimen appeared at public auction was in 2007. This is where many PCGS Set Registry members will need to “settle” for examples grading MS67, unless they are extremely patient and ready to raise the proverbial auction paddle when one of the few MS68 or better specimens come onto the market.

History Silver Commemoratives