US Coins

Mint releases Mark Twain surcharges to two groups

The United States Mint is in the process of distributing surcharges from the sale of coins from the two 2016 commemorative coin programs.

The Mint has already sent surcharge checks to two of the four recipient organizations designated under the Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act, Public Law 112–201, with documentation being processed for the other two, according to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White.

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White said June 29 that no net surcharges have been distributed to the National Park Foundation from the sale of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial gold $5 half eagles, silver dollars and copper-nickel clad half dollars authorized under Section 3055 of Public Law 113-291.

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The Mark Twain program generated net surcharges — after the Mint recouped all production and related costs — of $1,711,750.

Audited sales of 18,679 Mark Twain half eagles (13,273 in Proof and 5,699 in Uncirculated) and 104,773 silver dollars (78,503 Proof and 26,270 Uncirculated) included surcharges of $35 added to the price of each gold half eagle and $10 to each silver dollar.

The $1,711,750 net surcharges for the Mark Twain program are being even split among:

? The Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn., " to support the continued restoration of the Mark Twain house and grounds, and ensure continuing growth and innovation in museum programming to research, promote and educate on the legacy of Mark Twain." Documentation seeking release of the surcharges from the Mint is in process, according to White.

? The University of California, Berkeley, for the benefit of the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library "to support programs to study and promote the legacy of Mark Twain." Documentation required for receiving the surcharges is not as far along in the process as for the Mark Twain House & Museum, White said.

? Elmira College, New York. The recipient was paid its $427,937.50 share of the surcharges on May 5, 2017, toward "research and education purposes."

? The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Mo. The home’s $427,937.50 share of the surcharges were paid on May 31 "to preserve historical sites related to Mark Twain and help support programs to study and promote his legacy." Henry Sweets, executive director, said the surcharges were placed into the beneficiary’s endowment fund, earnings from which will be used to maintain and preserve the Mark Twain-related properties in Hannibal.

Authorizing legislation for the 2016 National Park Service Centennial coins mandates that any surcharges received by the National Park Foundation be designated “for projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of those resources.”

Surcharges may not be used for land acquisition, according to the enabling legislation.

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