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50c Modern Commems

United States Mint resumed its formal commemorative coin initiatives in 1982 following years of motions in Congress to restart the program that ended in 1954 amid financial abuse scandals. The first commemorative coin issued in the so-called ?modern? (1982-present) era was the George Washington half dollar, which also became the first 90% silver coin issued by the United States Mint since 1964. The George Washington commemorative half dollar proved successful, with more than 7 million pieces sold across uncirculated and proof options.

Following a commemorative program in 1983-84 honoring the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles with special designs on silver dollars and a $10 gold eagle, the United States Mint produced its second commemorative half dollar of the modern era with the Statue of Liberty Centennial program in 1986. The ball got rolling on commemorative half dollars by the early 1990s, with a slew of commemorative coin programs involving halves throughout the course of the next decade.

Most commemorative half dollars are common and readily obtainable in grades across the Mint State spectrum, though some MS70 examples are relatively scarce and often command high prices. The basic rule of thumb for buying uncertified commemorative half dollars is to choose spot-free pieces in their original government packaging. While the modern commemorative market has been soft for many years, crisp examples in clean government packaging always sell faster than subpar examples or mishandled pieces in aftermarket holders.

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