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The Italian Tribune’s ‘Christopher Columbus Portfolio’ of stamps and currency.

The Christopher Columbus Portfolio

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of America’s discovery in 1892, the U.S. Congress authorized the first commemorative coin in our nation’s history – the Columbus silver half dollar. It bears a bust of the Great Navigator on the front and his flagship, the Santa Maria on the reverse. The historic coin was reissued in 1893 to coincide with the opening of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the country’s first great World’s Fair. Both coins are highly sought after by collectors today.

Of the official U.S. stamps issued for the 400th anniversary, the most dramatic and popular are the 1893 “Columbus in Sight of Land” and “Landing of Columbus.” Each of the one and two-cent stamps are miniature engravings of superb classical artistry and were produced in violet and blue colors.

In 1914, the U.S. Treasury produced the only banknote ever to display the discovery of America in the form of an oversized $5 bill. Shown is the sighting of land from Columbus’ ship and the Pilgrim landing 128 years later. These rare items were assembled as ‘The Christopher Columbus Portfolio’ decades ago. Pictured is set 69 of 2000 from The Italian Tribune’s Archival Collection.