Braille Commem Available This Week
By Maggie Stigsell
2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar,
the first U.S. coin with readable Braille,
becomes available March 26 from the Mint.
Ed Moy, U.S. mint director, will present the
coin that day at the National Federation of the
Blind headquarters in Baltimore, Md. Marc
Maurer, NFB president, will join Moy in the
Guests invited to the event include
mathematician and inventor Abraham Nemeth and
Joyce Winterton, NASA assistant administrator
for education. Frederic Schroeder, NFB first
vice president, will serve as master of
The presentation will include a special
videotaped message from U.S. Senator Christopher
J. Dodd, one of the sponsors of Public Law
109-247 the Louis Braille Bicentennial-Braille
Literacy Commemorative Coin Act.
The dollar coin is issued to honor the life and
work of the man who invented the Braille method
of reading and writing that has allowed millions
of blind people to be literate participants in
their societies. The law provides that a portion
of proceeds from the sales of the commemorative
coins is authorized to be paid to the NFB to
further promote Braille literacy.
The Braille coin features a portrait of Louis
Braille on the obverse. Inscriptions are
"Liberty," "In God We Trust," "Louis Braille,"
"1809" and "2009."
The reverse design depicts a child reading a
Braille book. The word "Independence" is
displayed on a bookshelf behind the child and
the word Braille, abbreviated "BRL" in Braille
code, is featured in the upper field.
Inscriptions are "United States of America,"
"One Dollar" and "E Pluribus Unum."
Mintage is set at 400,000 coins across all
product options. Struck in 90 percent silver,
the coin 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.
Collectors may begin placing orders for the coin
at noon on March 26.
The proof version has an introductory price of
$37.95 and a regular price of $41.95. The
uncirculated's introductory price is $31.95,
with a regular price of $33.95. The uncircultaed
dollar is also available in an "easy-open"
capsule, meant for those who wish to feel the
tactile features of the coin. Its prices are
identical to the regular uncirculated product.
The introductory sales period ends April 27 at 5
p.m. ET, after which regular prices will go into
Orders for the proof and uncirculated silver
dollars are limited to 50 units per coin option
per household. Orders for the special set are
limited to 10 sets per household.
Place orders online at www.usmint.gov or by