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This unique collection of U.S. Mint commemorative coins spans 100 years – and celebrates the 400th and 500th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the New World.
Columbus left Spain on August 3, 1492, with a fleet of three ships – Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria – and a crew of 90 men. He landed in the New World on October 12, 1492.
In 1892 and 93 , the United States Mint produced a special commemorative Half Dollar to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World in 1492. This was the first commemorative coin issued by the U.S. Mint and has been out of issue for over 120 years. The coin was issued in conjunction with the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The obverse of the coin shows a portrait of Columbus by U.S. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber. The reverse depicts Columbus’s flagship, Santa Maria, and two globes to represent the Old and New Worlds. It was designed by George T. Morgan, whose Morgan Silver Dollar was still being produced at this time.
The combination of designs by Barber and Morgan – two of the most famous designers in U.S. Mint history – make this a key coin and an extra-special addition to any collection that is coveted by collectors. The coin was struck in 90% silver.
In 1992, The Mint produced a special commemorative Half Dollar in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary. The obverse of the coin depicts Christopher Columbus setting foot on the new lands. Behind Columbus, the ocean is visible and one of the three ships he used to sail to the new lands. To his side, three men from his crew are visible in the background, and next to a small boat. Below Columbus's right foot is the date 1492 or the year in which the Americas were discovered. To the right of the year 1492 is the year 1992.
The reverse of the coin displays the three ships Columbus used to travel to the new lands, the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta. Above the three ships are the legends 500th Anniversary of Columbus Discovery.
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