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What Are Commemorative Coins?


Commemorative coins have become very popular. Many people want to have different kinds of coins in their collections or for souvenirs. Many times they are used as traditional gifts for special occasions. These coins are not considered to be practical gifts, bur are commemorative items that can be kept for years as special souvenirs when received by a special friend or loved one.

There is a strong demand for these coins among people who are collectors as they may have significant meaning to them. Others will want them to remember an important day or occasion. The mint date and the event celebrated by the coin could be one factor people consider them collectible items.

Since the 1970s, the individual coins were available in the market every year, but are now available as sets in packages or in special displays. Many collectors say that one reason they are marketed this way was the depreciation of their value starting in 1971. The introduction of the euro may also be a factor.

There are countries that have produce commemorative coins and used these coins for propaganda. There were monarchs who issued coins to commemorate past or current events and/or celebrations that recognized their authority.

The half dollar was produced in 1892 to commemorate the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This was a celebration to mark the 400th anniversary of the expedition of Christopher Columbus and his discoveries in the world.

During the following year, the first quarter dollar commemorative was introduced to signify the Exposition as well, but it also gave honor to queen Isabella of Spain. She was the one who “back-pedaled” the political agendas on Women Rights.

The first commemorative coins that were made of silver were introduced in the 1900s. The coins were minted in honor of Lafayette and George Washington. In the following years, the half dollar coin was denominated, and the legal tender commemorative coins were created to mark celebrations rather than historical events. These coins are recognized today as classical sets of special coins of historical events between the years1892 - 1954.

It was in 1932 that the Washington quarter dollar was released as the United States’ second commemorative coin in its denomination. It was issued for the 200th birth anniversary of George Washington. The coin also continues its circulation as a commemorative coin because of its popularity.

It was uncharacteristic to circulate a commemorative coin of the 1892 - 1954 era in the United States because the government had not intentionally put them into circulation, (they were not legally approved by the government for public use) so collectors will not pay the premium costs of these coins that are still in the market.

In 1975, that the Bicentennial quarter was introduced. It became the second circulating commemorative coin in the country, while the silver dollars and half dollars (1776 – 1976) were reissued as a special collector’s edition.

Many collectors have different agendas when collecting these coins. Some prefer commemorative coins from 1892 - 1954 while most collectors choose the modern editions. They know that these coins have different values depending on the series and/or editions.

Although there have been different series released, a proposal was submitted to congress that would mark the Lincoln cent for his birth anniversary. No one knows whether or not the 1-cent denomination commemorative coin will be minted.

The confusing part of these commemoratives that are circulating is the pattern of the denomination. The 1776-1976 commemoratives half-dollar and silver dollar may not be included in collections because of their scarcity. Most of the coins that are circulating are the quarter dollar coins. It should be an interesting development for the proposed circulation of the one cent commemorative coin.










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