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Jim

Columbian Half Dollar 1893

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I recently went to a local bank and had the opportunity to purchase some silver half dollars from the 1940's and 1950's. I bought a partial roll of perhaps ten or twelve coins and in the middle of the roll was an 1893's World's Columbian half dollar. I was amazed. I had never seen such a coin (I am not a coin collector per se). I have done a little research and have learned that it was the first US commemorative ever issued and the first US coin to bear an image of a person who was not American (Christopher Columbus). The coins were first issued in 1892 but the fair was delayed one year and a second minting took place in 1893 when over 4 million were issued. They were more popular in 1892 than in 1893 and uncirculated coins were melted (about 2 million of them). I gather that the coin I found is only worth about $12 to a collector but to a world's fair enthusiast, it is priceless. It was a very welcome discovery.

http://www.commem.com/prod08colexpo.htm

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