US Coins

New measure in House seeks Mark Twain commemoratives

Legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives July 7 seeking 2016 commemorative coins honoring writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who wrote under the pen name Mark Twain.

The bill, H.R. 2453, was introduced by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo. The measure had 16 co-sponsors as of Aug. 10.

H.R. 2453 calls for a silver dollar and a gold $5 half eagle, both of the standard specifications. Maximum mintages would be 100,000 gold coins and 350,000 silver dollars. The coins would be issued in Proof and Uncirculated versions, with production limited to one facility for any particular version.

Surcharges would be $35 per gold coin and $10 per silver dollar. The surcharges raised from the sales of the coins — after statutory requirements are met — would be presented in equal amounts to four different entities: the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Conn.; the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley; the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, N.Y.; and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal, Mo.

The designs of the coins minted under the act “shall be emblematic of the life and legacy of Mark Twain,” according to the legislation. Designs would be selected by the Treasury secretary after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and the Board of the Mark Twain House and Museum; and after the designs are reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. ¦

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