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Braille Commem Available This Week
By Maggie Stigsell

The 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 ceremony.

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 ceremonies.

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 effect.

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 calling 1-800-USA-MINT.


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