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The explorer depicted on 1892 US commemorative coin is none other than Christopher Columbus. In the United States, Columbus is celebrated as the explorer who discovered America.

Occasionally, the United States mint will issue special commemorative coins that can be purchased as collector’s items. There is special significance related to these commemorative coins of the US money system since they are made to celebrate an important event or person in American history. They are quite often purchased by people who enjoy collecting these rare United States coins. Likewise, many of these commemorative coins are worth more than their face value, as many people are willing to spend quite a bit of money simply for the pleasure of owning them.

1892 US Commemorative Coin

Explorer Depicted on 1892 US Commemorative Coin

Christopher Columbus received a great honor when he was the explorer depicted on 1892 US commemorative coin. This is the very first commemorative coin ever made by the United States Mint.

Christopher Columbus was chosen because he is a significant figure in American history. He is often credited with founding America, although in actuality he discovered islands in the Caribbean. Thus, his position on the very first commemorative coin is understandable.

Since there are no actual photos of Christopher Columbus, the bust shown on the coin was created using a variety of different samples by the engraver Charles E. Barber. The other side of the coin featured the Santa Maria, which was Christopher Columbus’ ship.

The two sides of this coin were engraved by different people. The bust of Columbus was engraved by Barber and the other side of the coin featuring the Santa Maria was engraved by G. T. Morgan.

This coin is also referred to as the Columbian Half Dollar and it was used to not only commemorate Christopher Columbus for discovering small islands in the Caribbean but also to commemorate one of the first world fairs held in Chicago known as the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

History of the 1892 US Commemorative Coin

Besides the fact that the explorer depicted on 1892 US commemorative coin is Christopher Columbus, this particular coin is significant because it was commissioned to pay for one of the first world fairs. Through an act of Congress, an order was made to have a maximum of five million coins made throughout the mints in the United States. The main purpose for making all of these coins was to help pay for the exhibits and the buildings for the world fair.

The only problem was this particular world fair didn’t do so well and was considered a financial flop. Many of the coins made were eventually melted, as they were not bought. The act of Congress used to create these 5 million coins was merely a way to front money for the fair. Even though this coin is a half dollar piece, it was sold for one dollar because of its commemorative status. Once the fair was deemed a failure, no one wanted to buy the coins, so the coins were sold off or melted.

Significance of Commemorative Coins

With the making of the 1892 World’s Columbian Exposition Half Dollar, this coin began a series of very special commemorative coins manufactured by the United States Mint. As of 2010, the last commemorative coin issued by the United States Mint was the Washington-Carver half dollar in 1954. These coins are also considered special because, although they can be used as legal tender for purchasing goods, very few of them have been seen in circulation.

Some of these coins are worth values as low as a couple of dollars to more than $5,000. The amount paid for these coins varies based on demand. Commemorative coins are worthwhile because, not only are they rare, they represent different aspects of United States history.