Commemorative Coins

Commemorative American Coins

Since 1892, the United States Mint has told the story of America through commemorative coins. Each of these coins celebrates a person, place, organization, event, or otherwise significant element of American history. The topics that commemorative coins have represented range from local to national interests. A perceived excess in the number of commemoratives being issued and a parochial focus on regional, rather than national issues, led to the end of the silver commemoratives in 1954. Decades later, so-called “modern commemoratives,” many of which are silver and gold, began to be issued in 1982.

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  1. 1925 50 Cent Stone Mountain Commemorative Silver Half Dollar VF-XF

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $69.95 $67.89
    Availability: In Stock
  2. Sons of Liberty 2-oz Silver Round

    $99.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $99.95 N/A
    Availability: In Stock
  3. 2021 CuNi Native American Apache Tribes Uncirculated 6-pc Set

    $29.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 N/A
    Availability: In Stock
  4. 2-oz Silver Washington Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment Antiqued BU

    $99.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $99.95 N/A
    Availability: Available for Order
  5. 1892-1893-P 50 Cent Columbian Expo Commemorative XF

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 $29.07
    Availability: In Stock
  6. 2020 $1 1-oz Silver American Eagle U.S. Armed Forces Navy Colorized Edition

    $49.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $49.95 N/A
    Availability: In Stock
  7. 1925 Stone Mountain Memorial Commemorative Silver Half Dollar AU

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $99.95 $97.00
    Availability: In Stock
  8. World War II 23-pc Historic Coin, Note & Stamp Collection

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $59.95 $58.18
    Availability: In Stock
  9. 2020 $1 1-oz Silver American Eagle U.S. Armed Forces Marines Colorized Edition

    $49.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $49.95 N/A
    Availability: In Stock
  10. 1990-W Eisenhower Commemorative Silver Dollar BU

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $59.95 $58.18
    Availability: Available for Order
  11. 1993-P $1 Silver Jefferson Commemorative BU

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $49.95 $48.48
    Availability: Available for Order
  12. 1982-S 50 Cent Washington Proof

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 $29.07
    Availability: In Stock
  13. 2000–2019 Sacagawea Dollar 20-pc Year-Date Collection BU

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $129.00 $125.19
    Availability: In Stock
  14. 2009 1 Dollar Abraham Lincoln Commemorative BU

    $59.95
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $59.95 N/A
    Availability: In Stock
  15. 1928 $20 24K 100 mg Gold Certificate Commemorative PMG GEM

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 $29.07
    Availability: In Stock
  16. 2020-P $1 Silver Basketball Hall of Fame Proof

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $79.95 $77.59
    Availability: In Stock
  17. Cold Enamel Collection: Sitting Bull 7-pc Uncirculated Set

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 $29.07
    Availability: In Stock
  18. 1928 $5000 24K 100 mg Gold Certificate Commemorative PMG 70

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $49.95 $48.48
    Availability: In Stock
  19. 1981-PDS Susan B. Anthony Dollar 3-pc Set BU

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $19.95 $19.36
    Availability: In Stock
  20. 1986–1987 $1 Silver Statue of Liberty/U.S. Constitution 2-pc Set

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $99.95 $97.00
    Availability: In Stock
  21. 2019-P 2.5-oz Silver American Liberty High Relief Medal NGC SP69 First Day of Issue w/Mercanti Signature

    $199.00 As Low As $193.13
    or $99.50 / month
    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $199.00 $193.13
    Availability: In Stock
  22. 1980 U.S. Proof Set w/USSR 50 Ruble Note

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $19.95 $19.36
    Availability: In Stock
  23. 1928 $10 24K 100 mg Gold Certificate Commemorative PMG GEM

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $29.95 $29.07
    Availability: In Stock
  24. Apollo 11 Robbins Medal 1-oz Copper Antiqued - 50th Anniversary Commemorative

    • Quantity Credit Card Wire
    • 1+ $19.95 $19.36
    Availability: In Stock
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Early Commemoratives

While the U.S. Mint issued a few commemoratives earlier, commemorative coins were not regularly issued until late in the second decade of the 20th century. The 1918 Illinois Centennial Half Dollar provides an excellent example of the types of coins that would be issued in the following decades. Illinois wanted to issue a coin to mark its centennial anniversary of admission to the union. To this end, the U.S. Mint released a coin that featured a portrait of the most famous person ever to come out of the state of Illinois, President Abraham Lincoln. A right-side portrait of America’s 16th President features on the obverse, designed by numismatic legend, George T. Morgan. John Sinnock adopted the Seal of Illinois for the reverse.

The longest-running series of early U.S. commemorative coins, and perhaps the most controversial, was the Oregon Trail Half Dollar. Issued from 1926-1939, the series was initially popular, but continued as an annual issue only because of its backers' political clout. The coin was designed by Laura Gardin Fraser and her husband, James Earle Fraser, the latter of which famously designed the Buffalo Nickel. Laura designed the obverse, where a Native American holds up his hand against a backdrop of a U.S. map. James designed the reverse, which shows oxen pulling a Conestoga wagon against the setting sun's backdrop.

Modern Commemoratives

Modern commemoratives made their debut in 1982 with the issuance of a President George Washington commemorative. The coin marked the sestercentennial (250th) anniversary of his birth. Issued as both a business strike and a proof, the coin was designed by former United States Mint Chief Engraver Elizabeth Jones. The obverse depicts President Washington sitting on a horse, while the reverse shows his beloved home, Mount Vernon.

One of the most popular commemoratives, modern or otherwise, was the 1986 Statue of Liberty Half Dollar. The coin marked the 100th anniversary of the erection of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The coin celebrated not only the monument but also America’s history of immigration. The obverse design shows a ship of immigrants passing between the Statue of Liberty and the morning sun. On the reverse, an immigrant family stands on Ellis Island, a famous immigration station, looking across the water at the New York skyline.

Recent U.S. Mint Commemoratives

Sports fans got a treat in 2020 with the issuance of gold, silver, and clad commemoratives honoring the 50th anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The coins shared common designs, with a basketball falling through a hoop on the reverse and three players, including one woman and one in a wheelchair, reaching for a ball on the obverse. These coins are convex to mimic the shape of the basketball on the reverse. For more information about the 2020 Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame commemorative coins, read this Coin-Authority article.

Another 2020 commemorative marked the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women's right to vote in the United States. For more information about the Women's Suffrage commemorative coin series, read this Coin-Authority article.