The Value of Olympic Silver Dollar Coins

By Johnny Kampis

The U.S. Mint has struck Olympic coins for more than 20 years. The silver dollar coins were not issued for general circulation, but instead were sold as commemorative editions. These coins, which represent several Olympiads of the past two decades, can carry some value, depending on rarity and condition.

Types

The U.S. Mint began regularly issuing limited-edition Olympic commemorative silver dollar coins and sets beginning with the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Subsequent coins included the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the 1992 Albertville and Barcelona Games, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Mintage

These coins are relatively rare compared to those in general circulation, with mintage between 50,000 and 500,000 for most issues. The 1984 Los Angeles coins, which included three different designs, are among the most common, with about 500,000 of them struck. Several different coins were issued for the Atlanta Olympic Centennial, with mintage as low as 15,000.

Grades

The value of the coins is generally set based on a grade of MS-67 or PF-67. The former is for coins not sold in proof sets, but still appearing in a general uncirculated condition with no noticeable blemishes. The latter is for the proof set coins still in the original condition in which they were released.

Values

In the 67 condition, the Los Angeles, Seoul and 1992 Olympics coins tend to be worth between $10 and $20 in 2010 prices. Some of the Atlanta Olympics coins can fetch high prices due to scarcity. The coin featuring the high jump is often seen at prices approaching $500 because only about 15,000 of them were minted. The Salt Lake City coin sells for close to $50.

Composition

The size and weight of Olympic commemorative issues compare to other silver dollars issued by the U.S. Mint over the years, with a diameter of 38 mm, a weight of 26 to 27 g, and a composition of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.

About the Author

A veteran of the newspaper industry, Johnny Kampis has worked as a freelance writer since 2005. His articles have appeared in various publications including "The New York Times," "Atlanta-Journal Constitution" and the "San Francisco Chronicle." He currently serves as an editor of poker-based "Rounder" magazine and writer for the Alabama football publication "Crimson" magazine.