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By Harvey G. Stack, Founder

Thoughts on United States Commemorative Coins

Collectors of United States coins have found commemorative coins, primarily half dollars struck to commemorate historical events and important anniversaries in America, an interesting and educational form of collecting.  

Do you have a question about anything numismatic? Want to know what’s going on here at Stack’s Bowers Galleries? If so, send your inquiries to [email protected] and get a response to your important questions from our team of experts! 

By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist & Consignment Director, U.S. & World Coins

One aspect of collecting classic commemorative coins includes the ephemera that sometimes accompany the coins. Many silver issues came in paper or cardboard “tab” holders that tattered away, but left their mark with vibrant toning. Other items, like original bags, copper frames, cases, etc. were saved, even after the coins were sold off, and have become collectibles in their own right. Lot 6118 in the Stack’s Bowers Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo has both a rare coin and a rare piece of numismatic ephemera -- a Proof 1903 Louisiana Purchase gold dollar housed in the original certificate and mounted in a frame.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

A 1915-S Panama-Pacific octagonal $50 gold piece -- deemed by some to be the most beautiful design in the long line of commemorative coinage that began in 1892 -- will be a focal point of bidding activity and an anchor to our exciting February 2015 Americana Sale to be held in New York City. This beauty is from the Stephen Winthrop Collection, one of several collections highlighted in the sale catalog. 

By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist & Consignment Director, U.S. & World Coins and Chris Chatigny, Numismatist & Cataloger

Among the early scarcities of the modern commemorative China mint issues are the Piefort gold issues of the 1980 Olympiad. From a mintage of only 500 pieces, these were already a scarcity at the time of mintage, and remain a tangible reminder of the epic Olympic games of that year. The specimen being offered in our sale is graded Proof-69 Deep Cameo by PCGS and is accompanied by the original box and certificate. 

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888-1957) was an American Naval officer best known for his feats of exploration and discovery, some by land and others by air. He was among the earliest flyers to cross the Atlantic and to fly over the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Indeed, he claimed his flights were the first ever visits to the North Pole and the South Pole. Byrd’s first expedition to the Antarctic began in 1928 and involved two ships and three airplanes. 

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist and Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Memorial Day! The “first holiday of summer” as it has become known, is a day of picnics and bar-b-ques, parades and family gatherings, and hopefully, a harbinger of sunny days to come. The tradition of a day of memory reaches back to ancient times, but our own Memorial Day has a history that goes as far back as May 1, 1865, when citizens 

By Chris Chatigny, Cataloger

For our next August Hong Kong preview we have a very rare gold commemorative coin from China’s Republic Era. This coin was struck in the tenth year of the Republic of China (1921). It commemorates the fifth president of the Republic of China, Hsu Shih Chang, who held the longest presidency during the chaotic warlord era.