The American Numismatic Association (ANA) has launched an online resource devoted to the U.S. Mint’s early silver commemoratives, dated from 1892-1954.
What the ANA calls the U.S. Mint’s “classic commemorative era” began with the 1892 World’s Columbian Exposition half-dollar.
“By the 1930s, however, collectors had reached a saturation point,” reads the Classic Commemorative Coins webpage, which adds an “astonishing” 21 different half-dollars were struck just in 1936.
Following a years-long hiatus, the series’ final coin – the Carver/Washington half-dollar – was minted from 1951-54.
“These coins memorialize specific people, places and historical events. Topics include everything from native sons and expositions to state and local anniversaries.”
The listings include “detailed information as well as the broader historical perspective” for each of the 50 coins, and in several instances, “commemorative experts disagree as to which side represents the obverse and which side represents the reverse.”
“In such situations, the most generally accepted combination is listed.”
Several ANA staff members, including Rod Gillis, Andy Dickes and Robert Kelley, provided “valuable research and assistance with this project,” according to the association.