US Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Half Dollar  1892 and 1893
US Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Half Dollar 1892 and 1893

You have the first commemorative coin issued by the United States. There have been oodles more afterwards.

Catalog values for these pieces, both the 1892 and 1893 dates, are:

worn: $15 US dollars approximate catalog value
average circulted: $18
well preserved: $20
fully uncirculated: $90

Be sure you understand what 'catalog' means. See our Important Terminology page (link at upper left) for an explanation.

That is none other than Christopher Columbus on the obverse (heads side) and his flag ship, the Santa Maria, on the reverse. The coins were sold at $1 each at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago during 1893.

Coin: 1351 , Genre: United States
Requested by: don wright, Sun, 20-Sep-2009 23:58:02 GMT
Answered by: Paul, Tue, 14-May-2013 11:55:46 GMT
Reviewed by CoinQuest. Appraisal ok., Sat, 02-May-2015 15:14:27 GMT
Requester description: 1893 i have a 1893 columbian 1/2 dollar in very good condition (no mint mark)unidentified person on the front and a sailing ship on the backwhich is marked as (WORLDS COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION CHICAGO
Tags: us usa columbian columbus exposition chicago half dollar colunbus colombus dollare doller dol dollars i 1 2 mint mark person people sailing ship worlds world deutschemark marke dutchemark markt deuchmark marks marc marck peuple peoples peple persons saling boat steamboat clipper warship sailboat sails masted ships boats outriggers vessel sail outrigger globe globes christopher christoph cristof christof cristobal cristopher beard hair earth ball hairdo hairline


i this coin just wanted to know its worth - Felecia Fox
Value varies with the amount of wear. See the page. - CoinQuest (Paul)

Lol..found one in the - Debbie
Very cool! - CoinQuest

I have just recently started my collection of coins and banknotes, and this coin was one of my first purchases. When I bought it, I didn't know what it was. I have a 1893 in really good shape except for one thing. It has a hole drilled through it at he very top of Columbus's head and through the date on the reverse. The gentleman I received this from told me that this particular coin was used as a medallion during the Chicago World Expo. Since I am relatively new to the world of collecting, I wanted to get a third party opinion to find out if there was any truth to this story or if it is a case of a dealer taking advantage of an unsuspecting newbie that didn't know any different. Any more information I can get about it would be extremely helpful. Also, is it still worth .50 cents, or was it just something done just for the expo? Than you for your time.
I'm not sure if there's any way to confirm whether or not it was worn as a medallion during the exposition, but people have been making holes in coins forever as a means of wearing them or using them in jewelry. Holed coins are worth considerably less than undamaged ones, but since this coin is 90% silver it's still worth the melt value (about $6 with today's silver prices). It was done specifically for the expo, and was considered legal tender but you'd be losing money if you spent it as a 50 cent piece. - CoinQuest (Todd)

Thank you so much for the info. Even though it is damaged and undesirable, I'm going to keep it for my collection. After all, nobody else I know owns anything that is 122 years old, and I learned something new in the process.




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