United States Commemorative Coins

The first official United States commemorative coin was issued in 1892 for the Columbian Expo. Until 1939, Congress authorized commemorative coin series for just over 50 occasions. At that point, Congress expressed concerns over the specific coins being issued, noting that many of them were of insufficient national interest to justify minting.

Three exceptions to this policy occurred before the program was shuttered: the Iowa Centennial half dollar, the Booker T. Washington Memorial half dollar, and the George Washington Carver/Booker T. Washington half dollar. After the commemorative coin program ended, production of all actively minted commemorative coins was halted.

Commemorative coin series resumed in 1982 for George Washington's 250th birthday. At that time, the Mint began to produce an average of two new commemorative coin series per year with the exception of Olympic years. Commemorative coins continue to be issued by the United States Mint today, with some of the proceeds helping to maintain museums, national landmarks, and Olympic sport programs.


Quick Facts

  • In 1995 and 1996, the Mint produced a series of Centennial Olympics commemorative coins for each major sport that was featured. Most of these were minted as dollar coins, but several general Olympic coins were created as $5 gold coins
  • Some collectors consider the 1848 gold quarter eagle to be the first United States commemorative issue. Some copies were stamped CAL because they were minted with early gold from the California gold rush
  • One of the chief complaints that led to the closing of the commemorative program in 1939 was the mishandling of print runs. The Oregon Trail coin, first issued in 1926, was subsequently minted eight years across a 14 year period

Recommended Items at Auction

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4 Commemorative Coin Sets
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
4 Commemorative Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$709 Bids
1935-s Texas Old Commem Half Dollar 50c Grades Choice Unc
Oct 19, 5:45 PM EDT
1935-s Texas Old Commem Half Dollar 50c Grades Choice Unc
by Key Date Coins, Inc.
Est: $107- $215
$1108 Bids
3 Commemorative Coins
Oct 21, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Commemorative Coins
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$607 Bids
(9) Original 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
Oct 21, 5:00 PM EDT
(9) Original 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$377 Bids
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
Oct 21, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$257 Bids
5 Commemorative Half Dollars
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
5 Commemorative Half Dollars
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$207 Bids
3 Collectable Coin Sets
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Collectable Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$357 Bids
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$456 Bids
Original 1920 Pilgrim Commemorative Half Dollar
Oct 21, 5:00 PM EDT
Original 1920 Pilgrim Commemorative Half Dollar
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$276 Bids
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$406 Bids
(18) 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
Oct 21, 5:00 PM EDT
(18) 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$1205 Bids
US Constitution Commemorative Coin
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
US Constitution Commemorative Coin
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$185 Bids
The American Buffalo Coin & Currency Set OGP w/ Commem. Silver Dollar & $5 Silver Cert. Replica
Oct 18, 5:00 PM EDT
The American Buffalo Coin & Currency Set OGP w/ Commem. Silver Dollar & $5 Silver Cert. Replica
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$655 Bids
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
3 Commemorative Coin Sets
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$405 Bids
U.S. Marine Corps 1775-2005 Commem. Set Includes 2005 USMC Unc. Silver Dollar & 3 Cent Iwo Jima - Still Sealed!!
Oct 18, 5:00 PM EDT
U.S. Marine Corps 1775-2005 Commem. Set Includes 2005 USMC Unc. Silver Dollar & 3 Cent Iwo Jima - Still Sealed!!
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$425 Bids
***Auction Highlight*** 1936 Elgin Old Commem Half Dollar 50c Graded ms67 By SEGS (fc)
Oct 19, 5:45 PM EDT
***Auction Highlight*** 1936 Elgin Old Commem Half Dollar 50c Graded ms67 By SEGS (fc)
by Key Date Coins, Inc.
Est: $550- $1,100
$655 Bids
Thomas Edison Commemorative coin
Oct 19, 6:00 PM CDT
Thomas Edison Commemorative coin
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$204 Bids
(4) 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
Oct 21, 5:00 PM EDT
(4) 1982 George Washington Silver Commemorative Half Dollars
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$164 Bids
Abraham Lincoln commemorative silver dollar
Oct 20, 6:00 PM CDT
Abraham Lincoln commemorative silver dollar
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
2012 TITANIC 100 Year Commemorative .999 Silver Coin
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
2012 TITANIC 100 Year Commemorative .999 Silver Coin
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$184 Bids
1999 Dolley Madison Commemorative Silver Dollar
Oct 21, 5:00 PM EDT
1999 Dolley Madison Commemorative Silver Dollar
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$264 Bids
U.S. Mint 1993 Bill of Rights Commemorative Seven-Coin Prestige Set
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
U.S. Mint 1993 Bill of Rights Commemorative Seven-Coin Prestige Set
by Weschler's
Est: $50- $100
$454 Bids

Sellers Who Sell United States Commemorative Coins


Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company

Key Date Coins, Inc.

Key Date Coins, Inc.

Silver City Auctions

Silver City Auctions

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer