The Daniel Boone Half Dollar was minted to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the famous frontiersman, explorer, and folk hero. Originally, the coins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint to coincide with the bicentennial year. During the next four years, the coins would continue to be struck, across three different mint facilities.
On the obverse of the coin is a portrait of Daniel Boone. Since no known portraits of him exist, this is an artists conception created by Augustus Lukemann. The likeness looks decidedly different than the portrait of Boone, which had appeared on the previous 1921 Missouri Centennial Half Dollar. The inscriptions surrounding the portrait include “United States of America” and “Half Dollar”.
The reverse of the coin features a scene of the frontiersman holding a chart of Kentucky and a musket, facing an American Indian holding a tomahawk. In the background a blockhouse stockade and a sun with rays appear. This was also designed by Augustus Lukemann. The inscriptions read “In God We Trust”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “Daniel Boone Bicentennial Pioneer Year”, and the date of issue.
Out of the maximum authorized mintage of 600,000 coins, there were only 10,007 of the 1934 Daniel Boone Half Dollars produced and sold at a price of $1.60 each. In the following year, additional coins were struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mints carrying the 1935 date. Subsequent to the initial distribution, legislation was passed in Congress stipulating that the original design should be supplemented by adding the bicentennial year “1934” to the reverse of the coin. A smaller number of coins were minted with the “small 1934 on reverse” and came to represent a scarce variety.
More coins continued to be minted and issued in 1936, 1937, and 1938. The final two years would have smaller net distribution levels as collectors began to grow weary of the endless string of varieties of the commemorative coin, issued years after the actual bicentennial.
Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar Coin Specifications
Designer: Augustus Lukemann
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 12.50 grams
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Authorization: Public Law 73-258
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 600,000
Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar Mintages
1935, small 1934 on reverse: 10,008
1935-D, small 1934 on reverse: 2,003
1935-S, small 1934 on reverse: 2,004