Answering a question recently about edge lettering on the 2016-W American Silver Eagle (ASE) coins got me thinking about the same device on US commemorative coins. Two came instantly to mind - one official, one not.
Of course, edge lettering has become fairly commonplace on US coins
in modern times, with the Presidential, Native American and American Innovation
$1 coins all incorporating edge inscriptions to free up design space on each coin's obverse and/or reverse. Edge inscriptions were also integrated onto the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin and the 2017 American Liberty Gold Coin.
Regarding US commemorative coins, no coin of the classic series (1892-1954) incorporates edge lettering.
Within the modern series, however:The Official Edge-Lettered Coin:
The 1992 Olympic Games silver dollar - the one that features a baseball pitcher in the middle of delivering a pitch (aka, the "Nolan Ryan dollar") - features a reeded edge that also includes "XXV Olympiad" imprinted four times around the coin.
If you'd like to learn more about the Nolan Ryan connection to the coin, check out:
- Looking Back at the 1992 "Nolan Ryan" DollarThe Unofficial Edge-Lettered Coin:
A relatively small group of the 1993 James Madison/Bill of Rights commemorative half dollar incorporates partial edge lettering. A portion of each coin's reeded edge was shaved away by a third-party and then had the initials of the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation ("JMMFF") and the American Numismatic Association ("A N A") added along with a unique serial number (~10,000 coins were produced/numbered/available for sale).
It's quite an interesting story and you can read it here:
- 1993 American Numismatic Association (A N A) - James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation (JMMFF) Freedom Pack
Have I forgotten about any other modern US commemorative coins with edge inscriptions? If I have, please post below!
FYI: Edge lettering/inscriptions on coins is certainly not limited to US coins
. While I don't specifically collect such coins, I do have a few from Canada, France, Greece, Switzerland and the UK in my collection.
For more of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, check out: Read More: Commems Collection