Modern Commemorative Coins (1980-1989)

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.


1989 U.S. Congress Bicentennial Coins

Congress Bicentennial Gold $5
Year: 1989
Obverse: The Capital Dome.
Reverse: Eagle atop a canopy overlooking the Old Senate Building.

Congress Bicentennial Silver Dollar
Year: 1989
Obverse: Statue of Freedom.
Reverse: The Mace of the House of Representatives.

Congress Bicentennial Half Dollar
Year: 1989
Obverse: Bust of the Statue of Freedom.
Reverse: Full view of the Capitol Building surrounded by a wreath of stars.

1988 U.S. Olympic (Seoul) Coins

Olympics (Seoul) Gold $5
Year: 1988
Obverse: Picture of Nike, goddess of victory, in a wreath of olive leaves.
Reverse: Olympic flame.

Olympics (Seoul) Silver Dollar
Year: 1988
Obverse: Lady Liberty's torch and the Olympic Torch merging into a single symbolic flame with olive branches encircling the torches.
Reverse: Five-ring logo of the U.S. Olympic Committee, framed olive branches.

1987 U. S. Constitution Bicentennial Coins

Constitution Bicentennial Gold $5
Year: 1987
Obverse: Stylized eagle holding a quill pen.
Reverse: Constitutional slogan, "We The People."

Constitution Bicentennial Dollar
Year: 1987
Obverse: A quill pen, a sheaf of parchment and the words "We The People."
Reverse: Cross-section of Americans from various periods representing contrasting lifestyles.


1986 U.S. Statue of Liberty Coins

Statue of Liberty Gold $5
Year: 1986
Obverse: Close-up view of Liberty.
Reverse: An eagle in flight.

Statue of Liberty Dollar
Year: 1986
Obverse: Liberty with the Ellis Island Immigration Center in the background.
Reverse: Liberty's torch with inscriptions.

Statue of Liberty Half Dollar
Year: 1986
Obverse: Side view of Liberty and back view of immigrant ship steaming into New York harbor.
Reverse: Immigrant family with their belongings on the threshold of America.


1983-1984 U.S. Olympic Coins

1984 Olympics Ten Dollar Gold Eagle/Runners
Year: 1984
Obverse: Olympic torch runners.
Reverse: Head of an American eagle.

1984 Olympics Silver Dollar/Coliseum
Year: 1984
Obverse: Depicts likeness of the sculpture placed in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Reverse: American Eagle.

1983 Olympics Silver Dollar/Discus Thrower
Year: 1983
Obverse: Greek Discus Thrower, inspired by the ancient work of the Greek sculptor, Myron.
Reverse: Head and upper body of an American eagle.
1982 George Washington 250th Anniversary Commemorative Half Dollar

Year: 1982
Obverse: Portrait of George Washington astride a horse.
Reverse: Mt. Vernon.

Photo courtesy the U.S. Mint