Pictured on the reverse of the coin are the thee ships of Columbus’ voyage under sail, known as the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Inscriptions within an outer ring include “United States of America” and “Half Dollar”. The inscriptions within the central portion are “500th Anniversary of Columbus Discovery” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
The obverse design of the half dollar features a depiction of Christopher Columbus at landfall. Shown in the background is the Santa Maria and a smaller ship with the crew disembarking. Inscriptions include “Liberty” in widely spaced letters above and “In God We Trust”, “1492” and “1892” below.
Both the obverse and reverse were designed by T. James Ferrell.