Circulating commemorative coins have been somewhat more unusual in the United States. These are coins that are minted to commemorate a particular person, place, event, or institution, but are intended to enter general circulation. The first circulating commemorative coin of the United States was the 1921 Peace dollar.
The United States Modern Commemorative Coin program began in 1982. That year, the US Mint released commemorative half dollar coins to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Since that date, commemorative coins have been issued nearly every year to celebrate famous American people, places, events, and institutions.
Modern commemorative coins were first issued by the U.S. Mint in 1982. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the U.S. Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. See how much modern commemorative coins are worth.
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New coins have been produced annually and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢ (i.e. 1 cent or $0.01), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion (including gold, silver and platinum) and commemorative coins.
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Congress authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places, events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time.
After a gap of nearly three decades, the United States Mint resumed the production and issuance of commemorative coins. The first issue would mark the bicentennial of the first President of the United States George Washington on a silver half dollar.
Modern commemorative silver dollars have always been popular with coin collectors in varying degrees. Some themes are more popular than others, and a coin's popularity may change over time. In 1995 and 1996, the United States mint issued nine different coins to commemorate the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
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