US Commemorative Coins & Medals

The United States has produced various commemorative coins as a celebration of special personalities, places, events, or institutions. Commemorative coins are legal tender but are not intended for general circulation, making them highly desirable for coin collectors.

There are advocates who place the beginning of the commemorative, US coinage tradition back in 1848, marked with the issuance of the 2½ dollar gold piece counter stamped "CAL", in commemoration of the discovery of gold in California. Others believe the 1892 half-dollar coin was the first one in the US, marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America. Either way, historians agree that there is a clear gap between 1954 and 1982, and have marked coins minted from 1892 to 1954 as Early Commemoratives and those issued since 1982 as Modern Commemoratives.

Early US Commemorative Coins

During the period between 1892 and 1954, commemorative coins were used to raise profits in order to fund a specific project. Circulation of these coins was considered to be a fundraising mechanism, as an alternative to an increased tax rate. In this context, the high number of commemorative coins that were issued during this period garnered raised suspicions of the US Mint. The last commemorative coin of this time period was the Washington–Carver 50-cent piece.

Modern US Commemorative Coins

The United States resumed the issuing of commemorative coins in 1982 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The US Mint issued over 7 million of these coins and the profits were solely used for reducing the US national debt.
Modern commemoratives are minted on special occasions that mark memorable events, buildings, or personalities of great national or international significance. Commemorative coins are minted both in silver and gold, however, silver is considered more popular and the silver dollar remains the traditional denomination.

US Silver Commemorative Coins

Commemorative coins are minted both in gold and silver, but the latter is considered to be the number one seller in all of the American numismatics by several publications. It is estimated that the US Mint issues at least two new commemorative designs each year.

Since 1982, by issuing Silver Commemorative Coins, the US Mint managed to raise over $500 million dedicated to building new museums and preserving historical sites and national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, the home of George Washington and others.

Bullion Exchanges offers a wide collection of US Silver Commemorative Coins, including the famous American Liberty coins, the US Mint 225th Anniversary Medal the 2009 Abraham Lincoln Proof Silver Dollar, the 2008 Silver Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin and many others.

Beautiful and special coins are not limited to commemorative coins, so be sure to visit Bullion Exchange’s Silver Coins page, where you can find your favorite silver coins. For more information on why silver is a great investment option, visit our Silver Coins for Sale page, where you can also browse through our range of silver products.

For your convenience, Bullion Exchanges offers a separate page for our available collection of US Gold Commemorative Coins and for all US Mint issued coins. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800.852.6884. You can also connect with our customer service team via our live chat feature or by emailing your inquiries to [email protected]