US Gold Commemorative Coins

US Gold Commemorative Coins

Gold commemorative coins of the United States that are dedicated to some historical anniversaries, significant events or historical personalities, started to be minted in the period from 1903 to 1926. Then there was a long break, mainly associated with the period of the Great Depression and the restoration of the country’s economy. Since 1984, commemorative coins have been minted in the USA almost every year. The main denominations of the entire period of commemorative coins minting were 1; 2.5; 5; 10; 50 and 100 US dollars.

Types of US gold commemorative coins

1 US dollar

1 dollar coin of 1903. Louisiana Purchase Exposition


1 dollar coin of 1915. Panama – Pacific Exposition


1 dollar coin of 1916. McKinley Birthplace Memorial


1 dollar coin of 1920. Manila Mint Opening


1 dollar coin of 1922. Ulysses Grant


1 dollar coin of 2013. William McKinley


2,5 US dollar

2,5 dollar coin of 1926. Sesquicentennial of American Independence


5 US dollar

5 dollar coin of 1986. Statue of Liberty


5 dollar coin of 1987. United States Constitution


5 dollar coin of 1991. Mount Rushmore Anniversary


5 dollar coin of 1991-1995. World War II 50th Anniversary

5 dollar coin of 1992. Christopher Columbus Quincentenary

5 dollar coin of 2002. Olympic Winter Games


5 dollar coin of 2011. Medal of Honor


5 dollars coin of 2011. The United States Army


5 dollars coin of 2012. Star-Spangled Banner


Curved 5 dollars coin of 2012. Baseball Hall of Fame


5 dollars coin of 2013. US Army 5-Star Generals & (CGSC)

5 dollars coin of 2016. Mark Twain

5 dollars coin of 2016. National Park Service 100th Anniversary

5 dollars coin of 2017. Boys Town Centennial

5 dollars coin of 2018. Breast Cancer Awareness

10 US dollars

10 dollars coin of 1984. 1984 Summer Olympics

10 dollars coin of 2003. First Flight Centennial

10 dollars coin of 2008. Andrew Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse

10 dollars coin of 2016. Nancy Reagan

50 US dollars

50 dollars coin of 1915 г. Panama–Pacific Exposition

100 US dollars

100 dollars coin of 2017. American Liberty 225th Anniversary

Circulations of the coins of this series

As a rule, circulations of commemorative coins are small and, in most cases, they are issued only during one year. It makes them especially attractive for coin collectors. Here are the examples of some US Gold Commemorative coins circulations:

  • 10 dollars of 2008. Andrew Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse – 11,735 pcs;
  • 5 dollars of 2018. Breast Cancer Awareness – 50,000 pcs;
  • 10 dollars of 2016. Nancy Reagan – 15,000 pcs;
  • 5 dollars of 2002. Olympic Winter Games – 80,000 pcs;
  • 5 dollars of 1992. Christopher Columbus Quincentenary – 24,329 pcs;
  • 5 dollars of 2011. United States Army – 100,000 pcs;
  • 5 dollars of 2016. National Park Service 100th Anniversary – 100,000 pcs;
  • 100 dollars of 2018. American Liberty 225th Anniversary – 100,000 pcs.


To develop commemorative coins in different years, the US mint involved not only its full-time leading engraving artists, but famous architects, sculptors and artists. Each of the commemorative coins has its own exclusive and unique design, but at the same time you can find many common phrases that are significant for the US history on all of them:

  • LIBERTY – means freedom, which is personified by a woman on the coins (profile or full-length);
  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – identification of the country on the obverse of the coins;
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM – “Out of many, one”;
  • DOLLAR – indication of the national currency near the face value on the reverse of the coins.


First US gold commemorative coins were issued by the mint in Philadelphia, which was the first one to be opened in the US. It still remains the main mint today. The modern commemorative coins, which began to be produced from gold in the mid-eighties of the last century, was minted by the West Point mint. For a long time it was only a depository of gold and silver ingots, but in the seventies it received the official status of the US Mint.

Cost on market

The cost of gold commemorative coins depends on many factors, and always exceeds the face value of the coin several times. First of all, it is important to know the fineness of gold, which can contain copper admixtures. Depending on this, the price will be affected by the cost of one ounce of gold on world exchanges. Also, the number of circulation and remaining number of coins is very important if we are talking about the period of 1903-1926. The condition of a coin on the day of purchase/sale and the quality of the minting in which it is executed will also affect the final cost.

We give you examples of the cost of some US commemorative coins:

  • 10 dollars of 2008. Andrew Jackson’s Liberty First Spouse – $ 881-1,541;
  • 50 dollars of 1915. Panama-Pacific Exhibition – $ 400-35,000;
  • 10 dollars of 2016. Nancy Reagan – $ 820-840;
  • 5 dollars of 2002. Olympic Winter Games– $ 170-200;
  • 5 dollars of 1992. Christopher Columbus Quincentenary – $ 297-500;
  • 1 dollar of 1920. Manila Mint Opening – $ 650,000.

Interesting facts

  • William McKinley, depicted on the 1 dollar coin in 2013, was born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843. He served in the US House of Representatives for 14 years and two terms as governor of the state of Ohio, before becoming the president in 1897. He served one full term and was re-elected in 1900. President McKinley was shot dead by an anarchist in September 1901, visiting the Buffalo Pan-American exposition, and died eight days later.
  • Only 13 gold commemorative coins were issued during 1903-1926 in the United States. Gold commemorative coins were not issued until the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984.
  • The 2.5 dollars gold coin of 1926 was issued in memory of July 4, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence of America was signed.
  • The Gold coins “Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City” in 2002 were issued by the West Point Mint. They could be purchased individually, in a set of two coins with different minting quality, and in a set of four coins.
  • At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1904, two coins with a nominal value of 1 US dollar of 1903 were presented. One of them depicts Thomas Jefferson, who was the president during the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France, and on the other, US President McKinley. Each of them has a cost of about 500 dollars.
  • According to the Associated Press, the curved coins that were issued in 2012 became the first of its kind ever produced in the US. Their design was made by the 28-year-old artist Cassie MacFarland of San Luis Obispo in Southern California, who developed another 177 design options for coins of this shape.
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