In 1892 the first U.S commemoratives were issued in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Those silver commemorative coins celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. Almost one million Columbian Half Dollars were sold in the first year.
The classic Commemorative series started with the Columbian Half Dollar in 1892 and ended with the Washington/Carver Half Dollar in 1954. Many of the silver Classic Commemorative were marked with historical events and nearly all of them were half dollars.
Classic commemoratives have recently become one of the most popular series with coin collectors.
Every so often, gold coins were a part of the United States Commemorative series. Gold commemorative coins appeared mainly in the early years.
The 1903 Louisiana Purchase Expo Gold Dollar was the first gold commemorative coin issued. There are two versions of this coin. One has Jefferson’s head on the obverse and the other has McKinley’s.
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