Ron Guth: The era of the "modern" commemoratives began in 1982 with the issuance of the George Washington Half Dollar (issued to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his birth). From 1954 to to 1982, Mint officials hesitated to issue commemorative coins because of the hit-or-miss success of some prior commemortaives and because of problems caused when speculators and manipulators attempted to control the market and prices. Fortunately, the 1982 Washington Half Dollar went off without a hitch, and the modern commemorative program was born. Included in this section are all the half dollars, which include the silver 1982 Washington 50c and all the subsequent, copper-nickel "clad" issues. The list at right is sorted by denomination, then by date within the denomination.
The success (or failure) of any particular issue depends on the theme and how broad an appeal it may have. Low mintages can translate into higher prices later, once collectors become aware of their scarcity.
Prices for coins in this series are completely dependent on supply and demand, but all are readily available for a price.