1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollar

Coin Stats:
Mintage*: 45,028 (plain), 5,000 (2*4)
Distribution*: 15,400 (plain), 5,000 (2*4)
Weight: 12.5 grams
Mints: Philadelphia
Designer: Robert Aitken

Missouri became the 24th state to be admitted to the Union on August 10th, 1821. In 1921, an exposition was held in Missouri to celebrate their centennial. They decided to mint commemorative half dollars to mark the event. Robert Aitken was chosen to design the coin. James Montgomery suggested that two versions of the coin be made so that more coins would be sold. As such, the first 5,000 coins bore the mark “2*4”, signifying Missouri’s place as the 24th state and the 24th star on the American flag.


The obverse of the coin shows a frontiersman and the dates of the centennial. While this frontiersman is indistinct, it was intended to be Daniel Boone. Where the likeness was taken from is unknown, although it is speculated that is was intended to resemble a bust of Boone done by Albin Polasek. The reverse shows an armed frontiersman and a Native American holding a peace pipe. The 24 stars are also there to represent Missouri’s place in the Union. Sedalia, which is inscribed in the bottom of the coin, was the location of the Exposition and State Fair.


50,000 total coins were minted, as well as an additional 28 for assay. The regular coins were sold at the fair, but the coins marked with the 2*4 were given to the Sedalia Trust Company for distribution. The coins were popular, but were not well distributed among the numismatists throughout the nation. They were also not well marketed for the Exposition, so few were sold. Many of the coins were sold at face value rather than the original price of $1 and ended up entering circulation. As such, high grades remain rare.


* Other sources list the mintage and distribution of the plain coins as 40,028 and 10,400, respectively.


If you are interesting in acquiring a 1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollar for your collection in any grade, contact us at 281.548.1515 or E-Mail us for pricing, coin conditions, and additional information.


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