Catalog Notes for 1892 Columbian 50c MS: The 1892 Columbian Exposition half dollar was the first commemorative coin struck by the United States Mint. The coin was produced for sale at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, marking the 400th anniversary of the Christopher Columbus’ transatlantic expedition to the New World in 1492. The Columbian Exposition was slated to open in 1892, but delays postponed the Chicago World’s Fair until 1893. The Columbian half dollars, marketed as souvenir coins, were sold for $1 apiece and were hugely popular with the public.

The 1892 Columbian half dollars, designed by Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan, were minted to the tune of nearly 1 million coins, making it one of the largest-mintage classic commemorative coins of the 1892-1954 era. A large number of Columbian halves were made, and many went into non-numismatic hands and were either mishandled or spent as money. For this reason, the majority of Columbian half dollars exhibit varying degrees of wear. Uncirculated examples are plentiful, though examples in the Gem grades, around MS65 or higher, are relatively scarce, with specimens in the MS67 level or higher rare.
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Catalog Details

Coin Date: 1892
Denom: 50c / Half dollar
Desg: MS
Mint Mark: P
Mint Location: Philadelphia
Coinage Type: Classic Commemoratives, Silver
Coinage Years: 1892-1954
Composition: 90% silver; 10% copper
Variety: Columbian
Strike Type: Business
Diameter: 30.6 mm
Weight: 12.5 gr
Edge: Reeded
Catalog #: 9296