The U.S. modern commemoratives began in 1982 with the George Washington half dollar.
The fact that collectors were able to purchase a commemorative silver half dollar for the first time since 1954 was a dream come true for collectors who had never experienced the heyday of the classic commemoratives 1892-1954.
It did not take long for the new commemorative era to take on its own character and the stamp of a new collecting generation and its needs.
Commemoratives shifted their focal point. Collectors reacted very positively to commemorative silver dollars and that denomination soon became the dominant one for this generation. In 2010 only commemorative silver dollars have been issued.
Over time popularity of certain issues translates into making them common. Prices decline accordingly.
With silver now at $21.93 a troy ounce, declining collector prices for commemoratives are intersecting with rising silver prices.
The result is that any old commemorative silver dollar has $16.96 of silver in it.
This spells opportunity for a new generation of hobbyists who can now buy them for much less than issue price.
Putting a set of the lowest priced commemorative silver dollars together can now be done for little more than silver value.
If you want to own silver anyway, why not spice it up with a variety of beautiful commemorative designs?