The Stone Mountain Memorial outside Atlanta is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world. In the early stages of construction, the project fell into serious financial difficulties.
The memorialdepicts three Southern heroes of the Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas "Stonewall Jackson. Originally designed by Gutzon Borglum, the creativeforce behind Mount Rushmore, the Confederate memorial is carved directly into a massive, naturally occurring quartz dome in Georgia. Work on the monument began in 1915, but artistic difficulties andfinancial woes side-tracked completion until 1972. The carved area covers three acres and is the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world.
To help raise much-needed funds to complete the project,Congress approved the minting of a special half dollar. Minted in 1925, the Stone Mountain Half Dollar was designed by Gutzon Borglum, the original sculptor of the mountainous memorial, and was composed of 90% pure silver.
This special silver half dollar holds the distinction of being the very first coin issued by the U.S. to commemorate the Civil War. Unfortunately, many of these limited-production coins were melted down for their silver content during the Great Depression.
This silver half dollar, with its unique place in American numismatic history, has always been highly coveted by coin collectors. With the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War upon us, Civil War afficionados are also looking to add this historic coin to their own collections. American Mint has been able to acquire alimited supply of these hard-to-find coins.
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