First Coin in the History of United States Coinage to Feature Readable Braille

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar at noon Eastern Time (ET) on March 26, 2009.  It is the first coin in the history of United States coinage to feature readable Braille.

The Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille Literacy Commemorative Coin Act (Public Law 109-247) authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue $1 silver coins to commemorate the 200th birthday, life and legacy of Louis Braille, inventor of the Braille system of reading and writing used today by the blind.  Surcharges from sales of the coins are authorized to be paid to the National Federation of the Blind to further its programs to promote Braille literacy.

Mintage of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar is set at 400,000 coins across all product options.  The coin, struck in 90 percent silver, is available in both proof and uncirculated versions.  A special set containing an uncirculated coin is expected to be available later this year.  Mintage of the special set is limited to 25,000 coins.

Pricing for the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar coins is listed below.  The introductory sales period ends April 27, 2009, at 5 p.m. (ET), after which regular prices will go into effect.

SKU

Item Description

Introductory Price

Regular Price

BR1 Proof Silver Dollar

$37.95

$41.95

BR2

Uncirculated Silver Dollar

$31.95

$33.95

BR3

Uncirculated Silver Dollar in Easy-Open Capsule (for those who wish to feel the tactile features of the coin)

$31.95

$33.95

The obverse (heads side) of the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar features a portrait of Louis Braille, designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.  Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, LOUIS BRAILLE, 1809 and 2009.

The coin’s reverse (tails side), depicting a child reading a book in Braille, was designed by United States Mint AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.  The word Braille (abbreviated “BRL” in Braille code) is depicted in the upper field.  The word INDEPENDENCE is featured on a bookshelf behind the child, in addition to the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Customers may order the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar at the United States Mint’s secure Web site, http://www.usmint.gov, or at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).  Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT (6468).  Please allow approximately one to two weeks for shipping.  Orders for the proof and uncirculated silver dollar coins are limited to 50 units per coin option per household.  Orders for the special set are limited to 10 sets per household.

Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of noon ET on March 26, 2009, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored.  For more information, please review the United States Mint’s Frequently Asked Questions, Answer ID #175.
Contact: Press inquiries:  Michael White (202) 354-7222 Customer Service information:  (800) USA MINT (872-6468)