Coins - Commemorative
The US Mint began making commemorative coins in 1892. Unlike medals, these coins are legal tender, have a
face value and some even circulate. But, many of the commemorative coins have more value as a collectible rather
than as a circulating coin.
From 1892 through 1954, the US Mint designed and produced many commemorative coins - though not every year. And,
for some years, for example 1936, they made many different designs.
The coins from this first set of years are called classic
commemorative coins and include silver quarter dollars, silver half dollars, silver and gold dollars, gold
quarter eagles ($2.50) and gold fifty-dollar coins. Today, their values range from a low of $16 for one
of the silver coins in a low grade to almost $200,000 for one of the high grade gold coins.
The US Mint began making commemorative coins again in 1982. These coins are known as the modern commemorative
coins and consist of half dollar, dollar, five-dollar and ten-dollar denominations. The metals for the coins
include cupro-nickel, silver, gold and even a bi-metallic of gold and platinum.
Both the classic and modern commemorative coins are mainly collectors' pieces and cost more, in some cases much
more, than their face value.
But, the US Mint also began producing circulating commemorative coins with their state quarters series
in 1999 through 2009 and their America the Beautiful series for 2012 through 2021. The golden Presidential $1 coins
could also be considered commemorative coins.
As time permits, we are adding these commemorative coins to the web site starting with the classics.
Classic Commemorative Coins introduces the classic series with
Classic Commemorative Coins by Date shows each coin in
the order by the first year the US Mint produced the coin along with its market value.
Classic Commemorative Coins by Denomination
orders the coins by their face value and then by alphabetical order.
Classic Commemorative Coins by Design
Elements groups the coins by their various subject matter on both the obverse and reverse.
On the classic commemorative coin pages, the coins will contain a link as their detail is added to the web site.
Click on the link to view pictures of the obverse and reverse along with information about the subject
matter, the legislation approving the coin, the size and metal content, the mints and other pertinent detail.
The modern commemoratives and the circulating commemoratives will be added as time permits.