Summer Olympic Coins

Summer Olympic Coins

Although the first Olympic coin can be traced back to 480 BC, the modern Olympics did not see its first commemoratives until 1951. The original concept of Olympic coins was that the Greeks believed that coins brought the general public closer to the Olympic games. The premise was that those who could not attend the games could at least have a tangible souvenir of the event.

In 1951, the government of Finland authorized the striking of the first modern Olympic coin, a 500 Markkaa. At first, the coins circulated as currency in the issuing country and the mintages were high. In borrowing from the traditions of ancient Greece, the coins were a memento of the 1951 Games, and a coin that numismatists could now add to their collection. With the exception of Canada’s Lucky Loonie program and its 2007 25-cent pieces to commemorate the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, it is rare that Olympic coins are minted for circulation. Traditionally, Olympic coins are numismatic coins.

  • Please see Modern Olympic Coins (2000-present) for 21st Century Olympic coins.
  • Please see Modern Winter Olympic coins for winter games coins.

Read more about Summer Olympic Coins:  Summer Games, 1952 Helsinki Olympics, 1968 Mexico City Olympics, 1972 Munich Olympics, 1976 Montreal Olympics, 1980 Moscow Olympics, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, 1988 Seoul Games, Centennial Olympic Coin Program, 1992-1996

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