Commemorative Values

Commemorative coins are a time-honored tradition dating back to ancient Greece, and they have been struck intermittently since the late 19th century. They are responsible for a number of firsts in U.S. coinage, including the first coin to have a U.S. president portrait and more. 

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in 2010. To honor the longevity of this organization, Congress authorized a Commemorative Silver Dollar to commemorate the anniversary. Later, in 2013, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America were similarly honored.
The Tercentenary of the Founding of York County, Maine was coming up in 1936, and members of Congress lobbied for a Commemorative Half Dollar, which could be sold at a profit to help defray expenses from the York County Tercentenary celebration. The bill that was authorized allowed for 30,000 Half dollars to be struck from one Mint.
One of the most popular souvenirs of the World’s Fair was the 1892 and 1893 Columbian Commemorative Half Dollar coins that were sold in the United States Mint exhibit hall at the price of $1.00 each. Forty-six countries exhibited at the Fair and the United States had several important buildings.

All Commemorative Values Resources

The Boy Scouts of America celebrated its Centennial Anniversary in 2010. To honor the longevity of this organization, Congress authorized a Commemorative Silver Dollar to commemorate the anniversary. Later, in 2013, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America were similarly honored.
The Tercentenary of the Founding of York County, Maine was coming up in 1936, and members of Congress lobbied for a Commemorative Half Dollar, which could be sold at a profit to help defray expenses from the York County Tercentenary celebration. The bill that was authorized allowed for 30,000 Half dollars to be struck from one Mint.
One of the most popular souvenirs of the World’s Fair was the 1892 and 1893 Columbian Commemorative Half Dollar coins that were sold in the United States Mint exhibit hall at the price of $1.00 each. Forty-six countries exhibited at the Fair and the United States had several important buildings.
The legislation for a coin celebrating Wisconsin’s Centennial Year was bundled together with two other proposals and Congress approved all three and they were signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt. The legislation for the Wisconsin Territorial Centennial coin called for a minimum of 25,000 coins to be minted but there was no upper limit.
In 1925, US Senator from Vermont Frank Greene introduced legislation honoring the Sesquicentennial of the State of Vermont and of the Battle of Bennington. The 1927 Vermont Sesquicentennial Commemorative Half Dollar is a coin of many names. Called the Vermont Sesquicentennial coin, it is also known as the Bennington-Vermont Sesquicentennial Half and the Battle of Bennington Sesquicentennial Half Dollar.
In 1933, Texas State officials began making plans for the Texas Centennial in 1936. Celebrations were planned in Dallas and across the Lone Star State. To defray the costs of these celebrations, Texas legislators lobbied for a commemorative half-dollar coin that they could sell at a profit.
At the turn of the 20th Century, there was strong interest in commemorating the Confederate soldiers and proposals were made to carve a sculpture honoring General Robert E. Lee on Stone Mountain. The proposal for a Stone Mountain Commemorative Half Dollar was approved through Congress and signed into law by President Harding. Sales of these coins would help to pay for the cost of building this memorial.
The nation’s sesquicentennial was going to be celebrated in 1926 in the city that served as the first American capital – Philadelphia. The United States National Sesquicentennial Exhibition Commission was organized to plan, maintain and run the Sesquicentennial Exposition in that city.
The bridge, once completed, would allow drivers to go from San Francisco and Oakland easily and quickly. But until the 1930s, building this bridge was thought impossible – it is an 8-mile long span crossing waters that were very deep and had swift currents, and there was a noticeable lack of stable bedrock upon which to build.
In 1936, the Roanoke Colony Memorial Association was formed to determine if coin legislation would be enacted and to ensure that celebrations would be held in 1937. They sought a commemorative Half Dollar and called for a minimum authorized mintage of 25,000 coins.
The Philadelphia Mint struck 20,000 of the authorized 50,000 coins and sent them to Providence in time for the celebrations. But the main promoter, coin dealer, Horace Grant, sold only a small percentage to the public and then declared that they were “SOLD OUT” in a matter of just six hours.
Massachusetts Congressman, Joseph Walsh, felt that a commemorative Half Dollar to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth was an event worth commemorating. Three hundred years earlier in 1620, a band of Pilgrims seeking religious freedom and separation from the Church of England, sailed to what was the New World.
This exposition was going to be the world’s largest international exposition since the World’s Columbian Expo in 1893. The country prepared for this 19 million visitor event and no expense was spared.
By some estimates, over 20,000 men, women, and children did not survive the Oregon Trail. Ezra Meeker devoted the last 20 years of his life to bringing publicity to the Trail and raising money to get the Trail marked so future generations would remember their struggle to settle in this country.
L. W. Hoffecker designed the Old Spanish Trail Commemorative Half Dollar. He also lobbied it through Congress and distributed it. Hoffecker had previously labored to get a Half Dollar Commemorative coin to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Gadsden Purchase in 1930.
Norfolk, Virginia residents felt that the bicentennial of becoming a Royal Borough in 1936 was an event worthy of commemoration. They asked one of their US Senators, Carter Glass, to propose legislation in Congress for them. Glass had proposed a commemorative half dollar but once in the House of Representatives, the legislation was amended to strike commemorative medals instead.
In April of 1937, the Philadelphia Mint struck 25,015 New Rochelle Commemorative Half Dollar coins. An 15 pieces were reserved for assay. These coins were distributed to the First National Bank of New Rochelle on behalf of the Coin Committee.
In 1923, a commemorative Half Dollar was struck by the U.S. Mint to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, an American foreign policy established to prevent European powers from expanding their colonies and otherwise interfering in the Americas.
Missouri became a state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise. Legislation for a commemorative Centennial coin was passed and signed by President Harding in 1921. The coin was to be sold at the Missouri Centennial Exposition in 1921 and sales of the commemorative half dollar would defray the costs of the celebration.
The Maryland Tercentenary Commission sought to have a commemorative Half Dollar and a postage stamp issued to mark the 300th Anniversary of the arrival of English settlers in Maryland in 1634. The profits from the sales of which would defray the expenses of a celebration.
The District of Maine was separated from Massachusetts and on March 15, 1820, the State of Maine was admitted to the union. One hundred years later, the State of Maine was preparing to celebrate its Centennial. Just as Illinois had done in 1918, the officials in Maine wanted a Commemorative Half Dollar to promote the Centennial and also to subsidize the costs of the celebrations.

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