1893 Columbian Exposition Silver Half Dollar
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Columbian Half Dollar Coin Specifications
Designer: Olin Lewis WarnerColumbian Half Dollar Mintages
1892: 950,000The first commemorative coin issued in the United States was the 1892 Columbian Half Dollar . The coin was issued to raise funds for the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. The issuance of the first coin marked the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus.
A total of 5,000,000 coins were authorized for production with production taking place during 1892 and 1893. The coins were sold at face value to the exposition for face value, which in turn sold them to the public for one dollar each as the "official" souvenir coin of the exposition. The Remington typewriter company famously purchased the first coin minted for $10,000 and donated it to the Columbian Museum. After minted quantities of the half dollar remained unsold, they were released into circulation at face value.
The obverse of the Columbian Half Dollar features a portrait of Christopher Columbus in profile designed by Olin Lewis Warner and engraved by Charles E. Barber. The inscriptions surround the portrait read "
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Designer: Olin Lewis Warner
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 12.50 grams
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Authorization: Public-Law 52-203
Maximum Authorized Mintage: 5,000,000