U.S. Mint Commemorative Coin Program

United States Mint Commemorative Coins

Collector Coins With A Cause

Most commemorative coins have some socially-popular and historical significance behind them, creating interest among many people who would otherwise have little to no interest in collecting coins. Commemorative coins are very popular and a great way to get started in the hobby of coin collecting, known as “Numismatics.” Many collectors enjoy building commemorative coin collections for both pleasure and profit. For both the experienced and novice coin collectors, there are few coin types that are as special and exciting as commemorative coins.

Commemorative coin programs help raise money for many important causes. When a new commemorative coin program is created, legislation is enacted by Congress which dictates the coin specifications, mintages, cost considerations, and adds a surcharge amount per coin to help fund important projects. The U.S. Mint distributes this surcharge money to designated recipient organizations, which must use the proceeds for the purposes specified in the legislation.

Since the Modern Commemorative Coin Program began over 35 years ago, in 1982, the U.S. Mint has raised more than $500 million in surcharges to help build new museums, maintain national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, preserve historical sites like George Washington’s home, support various Olympic programs, and much more.

The profits from the sale of commemorative coins were often used to fund a specific project. Commemorative coins were a money-raising mechanism that provided an alternative to raising taxes. In the 62 years, from 1892 through 1954, subsequent legislation authorized the U.S. Mint to produce commemorative coins for 53 different events, occasions, or individuals. This resulted in the Mint producing over 180 silver and gold commemorative coins.

Early Commemoratives have become one of the most popular series in recent years. There are 144 varieties of silver issues, of which all but two are half dollars (one is a quarter, the other is a dollar). Many collectors build type sets, which include 50 issues. Although some silver Classic Commemoratives can be very scarce and valuable, other Classic Commemoratives are quite affordable, even in high grades. It is no wonder that this interesting series has steadily gained popularity over the years.