Modern Commemorative Coins
After the Classic Commemorative Coin series was stopped in 1954, commemorative coins took at 28-year hiatus. In 1982, the Congress of the United States restarted the Commemorative Coin program due to the 250th anniversary of the Birth of George Washington. The coins were struck in 90% silver in both Uncirculated and Proof finishes.
The 1983-84 Los Angeles Olympics were the next event to have modern commemorative coins struck – two distinct silver dollars – 1 in 1983 and 1 in 1984 as well as a 1984 dated $10 Gold coin. No commemoratives were struck in 1985 but in 1986 we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of receiving the Statue of Liberty from France. These Statue of Liberty coins comprised a Half Dollar, a Silver Dollar, and a $5 gold coin.
These modern commemorative coins were issued irregularly but for specific events such as Olympic events, Bicentennials of the Constitution and of Congress, honoring various American heroes such as Dwight Eisenhower, and Thomas Jefferson, and honoring the end of wars such as World War II and the Korean conflict.
To avoid the over-abundance of commemorative coins as happened in the 1930s with the Classic Commemoratives, Congress imposed a limit of a maximum of only two commemorative coin issues per year. These coins are relatively inexpensive, and they are fairly available.