1992 Columbus Quincentenary Commemorative Coins

October 14, 2013 in Coins, Commemorative, Gold, Gold Coins, History, Investing, Numismatica, Numismatics, Precious Metals, Silver, Silver Coins, US Mint, USA Coins

October 14, 2013 By Michael Zielinski (

In 1992, the quincentenary or 500th anniversary of the historic voyage of Christopher Columbus to the Americas was celebrated with the issuance of three commemorative coins from the United States Mint. The program included extremely high maximum mintage levels likely formulated with the expectation that the coins would be heavily ordered by the general public. From a numismatic perspective, the program harkened back to the first commemorative coin produced by the United States Mint issued in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage.

The program to mark the quincentenary of the voyage was authorized under Public Law 102-281, signed by President George H.W. Bush on May 13, 1992. The law authorized the production of clad composition half dollars with a maximum mintage of 6 million pieces, silver dollars with a maximum mintage of 4 million, and $5 gold coins with a maximum mintage of 1 million. Each coin would be available in uncirculated or proof versions. Surcharges added to the cost of each coin would benefit the Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Coins and Fellowship Foundation.

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