The United States Capitol. For the People — By the People

Celebrate the first meeting of Congress in the U.S. Capitol and be part of history in the making by helping build the first ever Visitor Center for the U.S. Capitol. Congress has authorized three commemorative coins to celebrate the bicentennial of the first meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each coin -- $35 for gold, $10 for silver, $3 for clad -- is authorized to be paid to the Capitol Preservation Fund for the purpose of aiding the construction, maintenance, and preservation of a new Capitol Visitor Center. The Visitor Center will offer modern facilities, free educational movies and exhibits, and will eliminate long waits outside.

The gold five-dollar coin is the design of Elizabeth Jones, the only woman to hold the position of U.S. Mint Chief Sculptor/Engraver. The obverse of this coin includes an intricate carving of a single Corinthian column, the type found on the Capitol building. The coin’s reverse is adorned with an image of the original structure, beautifully portraying the edifice where the first congressional session was held in the U.S. Capitol.

The silver dollar obverse is a creation of artist Marika Somogy. The obverse portrays the original U.S. Capitol superimposed on the image of today’s Capitol building. The contrasting images illustrate how we have grown as a nation. The reverse is the design of Mint sculptor/engraver John Mercanti and portrays a bald eagle cloaked in a banner inscribed “U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.”

Dean McMullen designed the clad half-dollar obverse. It features the original U.S. Capitol building within an outline of the present day Capitol. The reverse is a combination of designs by artists Marcel Jovine and Alex Shagin. It portrays 16 stars and the inscription “32 SENATORS; 106 HOUSE MEMBERS”. The stars represent the number of states and the inscriptions reflects number of members in the 6th Congress-the first Congress to meet in the new Capitol in 1800.

Metal composition of the coins is as follows:

Gold five-dollar; 90% gold and 10% alloy, diameter is 0.850 (±0.003) inches or 21.59 (±0.08) mm and the weight is 8.359 (±0.042) grams. Silver one-dollar; 90% silver and 10% alloy, diameter is 1.500 (±0.003) inches or 38.10 (±0.08) mm and the weight is 26.730 (±0.400) grams. Clad half-dollar; 92% copper and 8% nickel, diameter is 1.205 (±0.003) inches or 30.61 (±0.08) mm and the weight is 11.340 (±0.454) grams. The coins were offered by the United States Mint with various packaging options and at different prices. Each option has its own official Certificate of Authenticity.

Coin Information Provided Courtesy The United States Mint.