Where Was the First U.S. Commemorative Coin Issued?


Quick Answer

The first U.S. commemorative coin was the Columbian Exposition half dollar, first issued in 1892 by the Philadelphia Mint. The coin features a bust of Christopher Columbus on one side and Santa Maria positioned over two globes on the reverse.

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Full Answer

The first Columbian Exposition half dollar sold went to a firm that built Remington typewriters. As a way to attract public attention to its products, the firm bought it for $10,000. The remaining coins were distributed by banks and the Columbian Exposition for $1 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the explorer's discovery of the New World. A second issue of the coins was released in 1893 bearing the new date.

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