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A Coin Enthusiast’s Guide to Commemorative Coins

Did you know that the United States Mint produced the first commemorative coins in 1892? Production of commemorative coins was stopped after 1954, but once again resumed after 1982. Since 1982, there have been many commemorative coins created on a regular basis.

Many people collect coins, including commemorative coins, as a hobby. But having a solid coin collection can also be worth a lot of money. Read on to find out more about commemorative coins and see whether your collection is worth anything.

What Are Commemorative Coins?

Commemorative coins are limited edition coins created to honor a person, event, or even a place. For example, there are presidential commemorative coins for all the presidents, including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and many more.

Although they’re considered legal tender, commemorative coins are usually not intended for circulation. The United States Mint makes a limited number of coins and only sell them for a certain period of time, which is why some can be very rare. Older commemorative coin’s value is often higher than newly-released coins.

The United States Mint also makes commemorative medals. However, these aren’t considered to be legal tender because they don’t have a face value.

What Are Commemorative Coins For?

US commemorative coins are to commemorate important American historical and cultural people or events. The coins can also be used to help raise money. When people buy the coins a small amount, known as a surcharge, goes to organizations and projects that help the local communities.

Since 1982, the U.S. Mint has raised over $506,000,000 in surcharges. This money has helped preserve historical sites, support Olympic programs, build new museums, and maintain national monuments.

Many people choose to collect commemorative coins as a hobby (and also to support good causes). Some people collect commemorative coins for the money too, as some are worth a lot of money.

For example, the 1996-D cent Olympics High Jump is worth about $250.00. However, other coins aren’t worth as much, such as the 1996-P cent Olympics High Jump Proof which is worth around $39.00.

How Many Different Commemorative Coins Are There?

Over the many years that commemorative coins have been in circulation, there have been many coins created. The US Mint has created many programs for a whole range of people, places, and events.

In 1999, the 50 States quarter program commemorated and celebrated all the states. Since that program series was so successful, the US Mint released many others, such as

  • the Westward Journey nickels (2004-2005)
  • Presidential $1 coins (2007-2016)
  • Native American dollar coins (2009-present)
  • and America the Beautiful quarters (2010-present).

It’s difficult to answer how many commemorative coins there are. However, one thing is for sure, these beauties are here to stay.

Similar to challenge coins, you can also create specially designed custom commemorative coins. These are often made by those in the military and handed out to privates. But even if you aren’t in the military, and you want to create your own commemorative coin you can.

Celebrate and Collect Commemorative Coins

Whether you enjoy collecting commemorative coins as part of your hobby or you enjoy the thought of making some money, they’re a great way to spend your time. Keep your eyes peeled for rare commemorative coins in flea markets and see if you can complete your collection.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other lifestyle and entertainment articles.

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