United States bicentennial coinage

United States Bicentennial Coinage

United States bicentennial coinage

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Description:
The United States bicentennial coinage was a set of circulating commemorative coins of a quarter, half dollar, and one dollar coin minted in 1975 and 1976. Regardless of date of coining, each coin bears the dual date "1776-1976". No coins of those denominations dated 1975 were issued.

Background

Commemorative coins had been struck for a number of events and anniversaries by the United States Mint since 1892. These coins were sold at a premium, often for the benefit of organizations who managed to get legislation passed to authorize commemoratives . Half dollars honoring Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver were struck over a number of years, ending in 1954. Originally priced for $3.50, they were repeatedly discounted and many were melted or spent. The promoter of these issues and others, S.J. Phillips, mishandled the distribution and lost $140,000. The negative publicity caused the Department of the Treasury, of which the Mint is a part, to oppose all commemorative coin proposals until the early 1970s.

In 1966, Congress established the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission (ARBC) to plan and coordinate activities connected with the 1976 bicentennial of American Independence. In February 1970, the ARBC established a Coins and Medals Advisory Committee. In December 1970, the committee called for special designs for all denominations of US coinage for the...
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