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PCGS Number: Set49BTW Coin Date: 1949-PDS Denomination (Short): Set Denomination (Long): Half dollar Variety: Booker T. Washington Desg: MS Mint Mark: Various Composition: 90% silver; 10% copper Mintage: 6,004 Strike Type: Business Coinage Type: Classic Commemorative Coinage Years: 1946-1951 Mint Location: Various Diameter: 30.6 Fineness: 0.9 Weight (Grams): 12.5 Weight (Ounces): 0.36169 Designer: Isaac Scott Hathaway Edge: Reeded Obverse Description: The obverse bears the portrait of the honored figure framed by the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and BOOKER T. WASHINGTON. To the left of the portrait is the date and words HALF DOLLAR. To the right of the portrait is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. Reverse Description: The reverse bears BTW's memorial building centered at the top. Many words appear on the reverse including: BOOKER T. WASHINGTON BIRTHPLACE MEMORIAL * LIBERTY, around the periphery. FROM SLAVE CABIN TO HALL OF FAME appears below the memorial. IN GOD WE TRUST * FRANKLIN COUNTY, VA appear directly below flanking the likeness of the slave cabin. General Notes:
The 1949 Booker T. Washington half dollar marks the fourth year of this commemorative type, designed by acclaimed African American artist Isaac Scott Hathaway. This coin marks an interesting numismatic milestone, not only as the first U.S. coin designed by an African American, but also given its issuance during -- period when the American civil rights efforts were really gaining steam -- and gathering across the American community.
BTW half dollars were minted at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints in 1949, but all of these pieces are common uncirculated grades. However, examples grading MS67 or better are quite scarce, particularly due to the flat surfaces across the coin that attract highly evident surface marks. PCGS #: Set49BTW