Commemorative coins are minted to memorialize specific people, places, and historical events, and are often prized by collectors for their unique and beautiful designs. A new online resource produced by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) highlights the United States Mint’s early silver commemoratives (1892-1954), providing detailed images and information for all 50 coins in the series as well as the broader historical perspective surrounding each coin.

The U.S. Mint’s classic commemorative era started strong with the World’s Columbian Exposition half dollar in 1892. By the 1930s, however, collectors had reached a saturation point. (An astonishing 21 different half dollars were struck in 1936 alone.) After a hiatus of several years, the last coin in the series, the Carver/Washington half dollar, was minted from 1951 to 1954.

The classic commemorative coins online tool can be viewed at Additional numismatic resources are available at

“Commemorative coins exist to familiarize people with a specific event, person, or place in history,” said Rodney Gillis, ANA education director. “They are excellent teaching tools.” Gillis spent months gathering the stories behind each of the coins and the subjects they represent.”

“U.S. commemorative coins are really a window into our culture,” said Gillis. “Some of the coins remind us of things that we should be very proud of while others relate events that have fallen into disfavor. They are a perfect reflection of our society.”

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The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 28,000-plus members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit


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