U.S. Sports Coins Commemorate Athletes & Sporting Events

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Calling all sports fans…

If you are interested in coin collecting and you love sports, then you are in luck!

Many U.S. coins feature or honor sports themes and athletes. From baseball to the Olympics, sports themes have been featured on many United States coins.

Following are some of the most popular.

Kentucky State Quarter

Horse racing fans can lay down their bets on liking the image on the reverse of the 2001 Kentucky State Quarter.

An iconic Kentucky animal graces the back of the quarter: a horse.

Kentucky is notably home of the world-famous Churchill Downs and the annual Kentucky Derby horse race which has been drawing thousands of spectators for over a century (and millions tune in to the event on television).

Kentucky state quarters are available for face value in circulation, 50-cents to $1 for uncirculated specimens, $12 for copper-nickel proofs, and $20 to 25 for silver proofs.

Indiana State Quarter

One of the least expensive coins you can purchase which bears a sporting theme is the Indiana 50 states quarter.

The Indiana state quarter features a depiction of an Indy racing car.

The 2002 Indiana quarter can be found in circulation for face value (25 cents), in uncirculated
condition for 50-cents to $1, or purchased in proof versions for $5 (copper nickel) and $8 (silver).

World Cup Soccer Coins

When the World Cup Soccer games came to the United States in 1994, the U.S. Mint heralded the major sporting event with a special half-dollar, silver dollar, and $5 gold coin.

The World Cup coins can be had in both uncirculated and proof varieties. Prices begin for the half dollar at around $10 and $27 for the silver dollar. The $5 gold World Cup Soccer coin can be purchased currently for around $300.

Olympic Coins

The most prolific sporting theme for U.S. coinage is, by far, the Olympic Games.

Among the very first of the modern U.S. commemoratives (1982 to the present) were, in fact, Olympic coins.

The production dates of U. S. Olympic commemorative coins have coincided both with games held in the U.S. (as was the case for the 1983-84, 1995-96, and 2002 Olympic coins), as well as for the 1988 and 1992 Olympic coins (the games were held in Seoul, South Korea; and Barcelona, Spain, respectively).

Olympic coins vary in theme. A few coins honor the entire Olympic event in general; others depict certain individual sporting events.

Special Olympics Coins

In 1995, the U.S. Mint paid homage to Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics.

The 1995 silver dollar bears an image of Shriver’s profile on the obverse. On the reverse is a Special Olympics logo and a Shriver quote: “As we hope for the best in them, hope is reborn in us.”

The Special Olympics silver dollar is available presently for around $25 in both proof and uncirculated versions.

Jackie Robinson Coins

In 1997, during the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson‘s emergence into Major League Baseball, the U.S. Mint struck a commemorative silver dollar and a $5 gold coin commemorating Robinson’s breaking of the “color barrier” in sports.

The Jackie Robinson silver dollar costs about $80 in uncirculated and $95 in proof condition. The $5 gold coin will set a coin collector back a whopping $3,200 in uncirculated condition, and a relatively low sum of $550 in proof form.

Collectors of sports memorabilia should certainly scope out the many types of coins available. Buying a copy of the latest edition of A Guide Book of United States Coins offers photographs and current prices of all United States coins, including the sports-themed coins mentioned in this article.

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6 thoughts on “U.S. Sports Coins Commemorate Athletes & Sporting Events”

  1. I have a 1979 MVP Billy Sims Coin…..OU and Florida State at the Orange Bowl.  Cannot find any information on it. Or Value of it.   aiden p.

    • James,

      It depends if they are proof or uncirculated coins, and also what types of coins they are (half dollars, silver dollars, $5 gold coins, a combination of all of them, etc.) Such a set could be worth thousands if it includes even a few of the $5 gold coins.

  2. I have a commerative sports coin…Silver..one troy Oz. Size of a silver dollar. On one side… Pete Rose 1985…..the other side says “All time major league hit leader…then in big type…”4192” Do you have any idea it is worth anything? Thank you.
    Bob Horn


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