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The U.S. Mint often releases a variety of Modern Commemorative coins over the course of a single year. Modern commemoratives can be made of silver, gold, or sometimes even clad material. The modern era of commemoratives began with the 1982 George Washington commemorative half dollar. While these coins could be spent, none of them were ever intended for circulation.
Modern commemorative coins are made to honor people, events, places, or even animals such as the bald eagle. How popular a commemorative coin becomes usually depends on the popularity of what the coin is honoring. A good example of this is the commemorative Buffalo silver dollar. This coin sold out at the Mint and its value has risen dramatically in the time since. Popular figures and events combined with limited mintage figures are why no collector should ever overlook modern commemoratives.
The 1982 George Washington commemorative half dollar may have been the first of the modern era, but since then many Modern Commemorative Half Dollars have been struck. These half dollars may be silver or clad. Some modern commemorative half dollars are made in both versions. When a commemorative coin is issued in both compositions, the featured design remains the same on each.
In addition to half dollars, there are plenty of Modern Commemorative Dollars as well. These tend to be made of fine silver. Other than the enormous number of commemorative dollar designs that have been produced, the main option of these coins is the finish. Most commemorative dollars are available with either a proof or regular finish. It may be surprising, but for certain commemorative dollars the version with the regular finish is actually more valuable than the proof issue.
The United States Mint also produces many Modern Commemorative $5 coins. Commemoratives with a face value of $5 are usually made of gold. This often leads to a smaller coin due to the fact that less than 1 Troy oz. of gold is typically used. However, commemorative $5 coins can be considerably valuable because of their lower mintage figures. This is an excellent bonus in addition to the inherent gold value.
In addition to half dollars, dollars, and $5 coins, there are Modern Commemorative $10 coins. These are usually made of gold like the $5 commemoratives, but they tend to contain more. Of all the denominations of modern commemoratives, $10 coins often have the lowest mintage figures. This leads to higher values, making these coins a great choice for any collector looking for something in this price range.
Every modern commemorative coin is different. So many designs have been released since 1982 that you could build an entire collection of nothing but commemoratives. Regardless of your price range, you can be sure that MCM has plenty of beautiful modern commemorative coins for you to choose from.