Modern Commemorative Coins (2000-2009)

The United States resumed minting commemorative coins in 1982 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington.

Modern commemoratives tend to be restricted to events and personalities of national or international importance.

While silver dollars remain the traditional denomination, low-value circulating commemoratives have gained in popularity.

2009 Lincoln Commemorative Coin Silver Dollar Program

Lincoln Silver Dollar
Year: 2009
Obverse: Abraham Lincoln
Reverse: The last 43 words of Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg
2009 Braille Commemorative Coin Silver Dollar Program

Braille Silver Dollar
Year: 2009
Obverse: Louis Braille
Reverse: the letters BRL (which stand for "Braille" in Braille code), a child is shown reading a book with his fingers beside a bookcase labeled "Independence."
2008 American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Program

American Bald Eagle Half Dollar
Year: 2008
Obverse: Bald Eagle
Reverse: Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle Silver Dollar
Year: 2008
Obverse: Bald Eagle
Reverse: Replica of the first Great Seal of the United States that was used between 1782 and 1841

American Bald Eagle $5 Gold Coin
Year: 2008
Obverse: Bald Eagle
Reverse: An image of the 1903 engraved, Great Seal of the United States
2007 Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar Program

Little Rock Central High School Desegregation Silver Dollar
Year: 2007
Obverse: A group of children walking to school, escorted by a United States soldier.
Reverse: Little Rock Central High School.

2007 Jamestown 400th Anniversary Program

Jamestown 400th Anniversary Silver Dollar
Year: 2007
Obverse: Three Faces of Diversity, representing the three cultures that came together in Jamestown.
Reverse: A depiction of the three ships that brought the first settlers to Jamestown in 1607.

Jamestown 400th Anniversary $5 Gold Coin
Year: 2007
Obverse: Capt. John Smith greeting an American Indian carrying a bag of corn.
Reverse: A current rendering of Jamestown Memorial Church, the only original remaining structure in Jamestown.

2006 San Francisco Old Mint Program

San Francisco Old Mint Silver Dollar
Year: 2006
Obverse: A rendition of the Old Mint originally prepared for the San Francisco Mint Medal.
Reverse: A replica of the 1904 Morgan Silver Dollar eagle reverse.

San Francisco Old Mint $5 Gold Coin
Year: 2006
Obverse: A rendition of the Old Mint modeled after the original construction drawing by architect A.B. Mullett.
Reverse: A replica of the 1906 Half-Eagle Coronet eagle reverse.

2006 Benjamin Franklin Program

Benjamin Franklin "Scientist" Silver Dollar
Year: 2006
Obverse: A representation of Benjamin Franklin's famous kite experiment.
Reverse: Benjamin Franklin's "Join, or Die" cartoon, published in the Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754.

Benjamin Franklin "Founding Father" Silver Dollar
Year: 2006
Obverse: An image of Benjamin Franklin
Reverse: Taken from a 1776 Continental Dollar, featuring designs originally created by Benjamin Franklin.
Chief Justice John Marshall

Silver Dollar
Year: 2005
Obverse: Profile of Chief Justice John Marshall.
Reverse: A view of the Old Supreme Court Chamber.
2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary

Silver Dollar
Year: 2005
Obverse: Historic flag raising on Iwo Jima, Inscriptions: "Marines," "1775," "2005," "In God We Trust," "Liberty."
Reverse: Eagle, Globe and Anchor — the Marine Corps Emblem, thirteen stars. Inscriptions — "Semper Fidelis" (the Marine Corps Motto), "United States of America," "E Pluribus Unum," "One Dollar."
2004 Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar

Silver Dollar
Year: 2004
Obverse: Captains Lewis and Clark on a stream bank planning another day of exploration.
Reverse: Two feathers, an image of the original Jefferson Peace Medal presented, surrounded by 17 stars representing the number of states in the Union in 1804.
2004 Thomas Alva Edison Commemorative Coin

Year: 2004
Obverse: Portrait of the Thomas Edison holding an early experimental light bulb in his laboratory.
Reverse: Rendering of Edison's first light bulb


2003 First Flight Centennial Coins

Gold $10
Year: 2003
Obverse: Portrait of Orville and Wilbur Wright
Reverse: An eagle in flight, above an image of the Wright 1903 Flyer, the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard.

Silver Dollar
Year: 2003
Obverse: Orville and Wilbur Wright in profile.
Reverse: An image of the Wright 1903 Flyer, in flight above the dunes at Kill Devil Hill, near Kitty Hawk, NC.

Clad Half Dollar
Year: 2003
Obverse: Wright Monument, atop Kill Devil Hill near Kitty Hawk, NC.
Reverse: An image of the Wright 1903 Flyer making its historic first flight, with Orville Wright aboard and his brother Wilbur on the ground beside the craft.

2002 Olympic Winter Games Commemorative Coins

Gold Five Dollar
Year: 2002
Obverse: Crystal Emblem superimposed on top of the Games' secondary identity mark entitled: "Rhythm of the Land."
Reverse: Olympic flame in relief atop a cauldron.

Silver Dollar
Year: 2002
Obverse: Crystal Emblem of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Olympic Rings, and the Games' secondary identity mark entitled: "Rhythm of the Land."
Reverse: Salt Lake City skyline with the Rocky Mountains in the background.
2002 West Point Bicentennial Commemorative Coin

Silver Dollar
Year: 2002
Obverse: Depicts a cadet color guard in parade with the Military Academy's Washington Hall and Cadet Chapel in the background.
Reverse: United States Military Academy Bicentennial logo.
2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Coin

Silver Dollar
Year: 2001
Obverse: Profile of a Native American.
Reverse: Picture of an American Bison.


2001 U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Commemorative Coins

Gold Five Dollar
Year: 2001
Obverse: Corinthian column.
Reverse: Image of the original Capitol building.

Silver Dollar
Year: 2001
Obverse: Original Capitol superimposed on the image of today's Capitol building.
Reverse: Bald eagle cloaked in a banner inscribed "U.S. Capitol Visitor Center."

Half Dollar Clad
Year: 2001
Obverse: Original capitol building within an outline of the present day Capitol.
Reverse: 16 stars and the inscription "32 Senators; 106 House Members."

2000 Leif Ericson Commemorative Coins

U.S. Leif Ericson Silver Dollar
Year: 2000
Obverse: Portrait of Leif Ericson.
Reverse: Ericson's ship under full sail.

Leif Ericson Silver Krónur, Icelandic Version
Year: 2000
Obverse: Image of Stirling Calder's sculpture of Leif Ericson.
Reverse: An eagle, a dragon, a bull and the giant from the Icelandic Coat of Arms.

2000 Library of Congress Commemorative Coin

Bi-Metallic Ten Dollar
Year: 2000
Obverse: Hand of Minerva raising the torch of learning over the dome of the Jefferson building.
Reverse: The Library of Congress seal encircled by a laurel leaf.

Bi-Metallic Silver Dollar
Year: 2000
Obverse: Depicts an open book superimposed over the torch of learning.
Reverse: Architectural rendering of the dome on the Library of Congress' Jefferson building.

Photo courtesy the U.S. Mint