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New US Commemorative Coin to pay Respect to the First American Civilian in Space

19 May 2017  Fri

The United States Mint is geared up to strike new commemorative coins for the year 2020, after four coin-related bills were introduced to the Congress, three of which would be authorised by them.

The first to be announced was the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2017. It awaits to be sanctioned by the Financial Services Committee. The United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Act of 2017 was introduced on 3rd May. The bill has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

The Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Program commemorates Sharon Christa McAuliffe. A teacher by profession, she was the first American civilian to be in space. However, an unexpected tragedy occurred on the Space Shuttle Challenger, where everyone lost their lives. After that, many schools and scholarships were named in her honour.

A maximum of 350,000 one-dollar silver coins in both proof and uncirculated finishes will be released. The coins would weigh 26.73 grammes, 1.5 inches in diameter, and consist of 90% pure silver. The Not-Intended-For Circulation (NIFC) commemorative would be legal tender in the United States and would be classified as a numismatic object for tax purposes.

An interesting design of the obverse would have an image of Christa McAuliffe, while the reverse would focus on her legacy as a teacher. The standard inscriptions (LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, the year 2020, etc.) would be present on the appropriate side of the coin.

A three-coin set would consist of a $5 gold coin, a $1 silver coin and a clad half-dollar, under the United States Coast Guard Commemorative Coin Program. All of them would be available in uncirculated and proof versions, with at least two mint facilities to be used - one for proofs, and one for uncirculated pieces. Courtney and Murphy's bills set maximum mintages of 100,000 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars and 750,000 half dollars. The gold coin would weigh 8.359 grammes, have a diameter of 0.850 inches, and be composed of 90% gold and 10% alloy. Specifications for the silver coin are the same as for the Christa McAuliffe commemorative dollar. The clad half dollar would weigh 11.34 grams and be 1.205 inches across.

The Coast Guard commemoratives must portray the traditions, history, and heritage of the United States Coast Guard, and its role in securing our nation since 1790.

The Christa McAuliffe commemorative $1 silver coin will have a retail premium of $10 over face value. This is nominated to go to the first robotics program. Surcharges of $35 for the five-dollar gold, $10 for the one-dollar silver, and $5 for the clad half dollar coin will go to the National Coast Guard Museum Association.