Commemorative Coins generally refer to the series of United States Commemorative coinage first struck in 1892 to commemorate the World’s Columbian Exposition and ending in 1954 with the last issue of the Washington-Carver Commemorative Half Dollar. This series contains 50-coin types, including 1 Quarter Dollar, 1 Silver Dollar and 48 Half Dollars. If you include coins struck over multiple years and struck at multiple United States branch mints, a complete set of these silver coins contains 144 pieces.
The purpose of these coins was to help local organizations defray the costs of these celebrations by striking limited mintages of these coins to the sponsoring organization and offering it to them at cost. These organizations typically sold the coins at least double their face value or more for lower mintage later issues. These coins were struck as souvenirs and mementos and not intended for circulation.
The appeal of this set is that many of the greatest coin designers in United States history designed some of these coins and that the design for each type is different. Also appealing are the extremely low mintages, some under 2,000 coins struck, for a number of the issues, which makes these issues highly desirable. Some of the most popular issues were struck for the 1892-93 World’s Columbian Exposition, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the 1926 – 1939 Oregon Trail Memorial Association issues and the 1934-1938 Texas Centennial coins.
Many coins are selling today at a fraction of their 1989 high prices making them attractive acquisitions.