The Commemorative coin program was created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place or event. Gold Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law and as a result are often produced in low mintages, increasing their collectability. The modern commemorative coin program began in 1982. The 1892 Columbian Exposition half dollar was the first commemorative coin authorized by Congress. The coins commemorate important aspects of American history and culture.