ANA unveils online resource for classic commemorative coins

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1936 Battle of Gettysburg half dollar
The 1936 Battle of Gettysburg half dollar was struck to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle and to defray the cost of the federally-funded reunion.

A new online resource produced by the American Numismatic Association highlights the U.S. Mint’s early silver commemoratives (1892-1954).

It provides detailed images and information for all 50 coins in the series, which are often prized by collectors for their unique and beautiful designs, as well as the broader historical perspective surrounding each coin.

The U.S. Mint’s classic commemorative era started strong with the World’s Columbian Exposition half dollar in 1892. By the 1930s, however, collectors had reached a saturation point. (An astonishing 21 different half dollars were struck in 1936 alone.) After a hiatus of several years, the last coin in the series, the Carver/Washington half dollar, was minted from 1951 to 1954.

“Commemorative coins exist to familiarize people with a specific event, person or place in history,” said Rodney Gillis, ANA education director. “They are excellent teaching tools.”

Gillis spent months gathering the stories behind each of the coins and the subjects they represent.

“U.S. commemorative coins are really a window into our culture,” he explained. “Some of the coins remind us of things that we should be very proud while others relate events that have fallen into disfavor. They are a perfect reflection of our society.”

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit money.org.

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