Classic-era commemorative silver coins from 1892 to 1954 were made
for collectors and were not intended to circulate. Some did, as the
many circulated 1892 and 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition half
dollars that are available today for a modest premium over their
silver value show. Occasionally, lower-grade circulated commemorative
coins can be found, beyond the typically encountered types such as the
1923-S Monroe Doctrine Centennial half-dollar. Oh, what stories these
coins could share!
1900 Lafayette Monument dollar, Fine 12
The 1900 Lafayette Monument dollar is the sole silver dollar in the
classic era commemorative series. While the denomination would be
popular upon the revival of the commemorative program in the 1980s,
the high face value at the beginning of the 20th century made it an
Still, 36,026 1900 Lafayette dollars were distributed and many saw
light circulation. The obverse shows the heads of George Washington
and the Marquis de Lafayette and the reverse depicts an equestrian
statue of Gen. Lafayette. They were originally sold by the Lafayette
Memorial Commission for $2 each, and today even lower-end Mint State
examples approach $1,000 in price.
This evenly circulated representative grading NGC Fine 12 is the
only one certified in this grade by NGC. It sold for $223.25 at a Feb.
23, 2013, Heritage auction. At this price level, it is among the least
expensive examples of this interesting coin to come to market in years.
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