The Missouri Centennial Half Dollar was authorized to mark the 100th anniversary of the admission of Missouri to the Union. It represented an interesting commemorative issue since it was minted in two different varieties, a tactic that would be repeated for some subsequent coins.
Authorization called for production of up to 250,000 of the silver half dollars. The coins would be released at the Missouri Centennial Exposition and State Fair held in August 1921 at the state capital Sedalia. The original cost was $1 per coin with distribution through the Sedalia Trust Company.
At the request of the Chairman of the exposition, a certain number of 1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollars were minted with “2*4” (2 Star 4) on the obverse to signify admission as the 24th state in the Union. He requested that the first 5,000 pieces carrying special marking, which be believed would make the coins more marketable. Research suggests that 10,000 pieces were struck with the marking.
The obverse design of the Missouri Centennial Half Dollar features a bust of Daniel Boone, wearing his well known coon-skin cap. The inscriptions surrounding include “United States of America”, “Half Dollar” and the centennial dates “1821” and “1921”. The reverse design features a scene of Daniel Boone standing with a Native American against a background of stars. Boone holds a power horn and rifle and points westward. Inscriptions include “Missouri Centennial” and “Sedalia”. The designer of the coin was Robert Aitken, a medalist and sculptor who had previously designed the 1915 Panama Pacific $50 Gold Piece.
The final mintages for the 1921 Missouri Half Dollar net of melting is estimated to be 9,400 of the coins including “2*4” in the field and 11,400 of the coins without the marking. Although intended to be a scarce variety, availability of the “2*4” is only slightly less than the plain version due to the overall low mintage of the issue.
Missouri Centennial Half Dollar Coin Specifications
Designer: Robert Aitken
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 12.50 grams
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Authorization: Public Law 66-381
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 250,000
Missouri Centennial Half Dollar Mintages
1921 “2*4”: 9,400
1921 Plain: 11,400