Commemorative Coin Basics

Posted by Derek Sawchenko on

In the year 1892, Congress authorized the making of commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions.  Along with commemorating important aspects of American history, these coins also help to raise money for many important causes. Part of the price of these unique coins is in fact a surcharge that goes to the organizations and projects that benefit the community. The aspects of charity and community really make these coins something special. These special coins are in fact legal tender, but they are not minted with circulation in mind. Each and every commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint. These coins are only produced for a limited time and in a limited quantity.  The first commemorative coin, made in 1892, celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Since then, these special coins have been issued each year to celebrate the things that make America great. There are normally two commemorative programs that are approved for each year.  Since the authorization of these coins, the U.S. Mint has raised more than $500 million to help build new museums, maintain national monuments, preserve historical sites, support various Olympic programs and so much more.  The historical aspect of these special coins enhances the appeal of these coins, even to those who are not normally interested in numismatics. The 2001 American Buffalo commemorative as well as the 2006 Benjamin Franklin commemorative were so popular that they sold out. In 2019, the Mint released gold, silver, and clad commemorative coins celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

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