Columbian Exposition Quarter Dollar

In an age that witnessed the first skyscrapers, inter-city telephone service and moving pictures, the magnificent 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was a fitting tribute to the progress America had made and the seemingly unlimited promise of its future. Dubbed the Columbian Exposition in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, the fair’s sparkling buildings, […]
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Alabama Centennial Half Dollar

Alabama, first explored by the Spanish in 1540 and settled by the French in 1702, was still a part of the American frontier in the early 19th century. But the frontier areas, with land cheap and plentiful and an influx of migrants from the east, were experiencing rapid growth. Growth meant statehood, and Alabama was […]
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Albany Charter Half Dollar

No one ever disputed that the city of Albany, New York was a pleasant enough place to live and worthy of its residents’ pride. Yet, in the mid 1930s, those who believed that commemorative coinage programs had gotten out of hand needed only to point at the half dollars honoring cities such as Albany and […]
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Battle of Antietam Half Dollar

The date of September 17, 1862 is remembered as the single bloodiest day of the American Civil War, as Federal forces under the command of General George B. McClellan countered the advance of Confederate troops led by General Robert E. Lee.  By the day’s end, both sides had suffered losses of more than 2,000 dead, Lee’s […]
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Arkansas Centennial Half Dollar

The Arkansas half dollar is a good example of a worthy project discredited through greed and poor management. Although this issue was the product of a state-sanctioned committee, this group’s actions were more in character for racketeers.  That the design of this coin was something less than an artistic success only added to the controversy. Still, time has […]
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Arkansas-Robinson Half Dollar

The 100th anniversary of Arkansas’ statehood called for a number of celebrations, the grandest of which was scheduled for 1936 at the state capital of Little Rock.  Noting the success of other states in funding such events through the sale of commemorative coins, a similar plan was devised by a state-appointed group calling itself the Arkansas […]
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Bay Bridge Half Dollar

Of the many different themes which have appeared on United States commemorative coins, by far the most common are those pertaining to historic anniversaries, such as the Pilgrim Tercentenary and the Sesquicentennial of American Independence.  In a similar vein, a number have honored statehood centennials, such as those of Illinois and Missouri.  Some recognize great Americans — […]
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Daniel Boone Bicentennial Half Dollar

It wasn’t too many years ago that Daniel Boone was one of the best known figures in American history.  This was due in no small part to a popular television series about his adventures that featured Fess Parker in the title role.  Today, Boone is probably less well known than most professional athletes.  This is a sad commentary […]
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