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July 9, 1985

 

There have been may successful commemorative coin programs. In 1985, the Statue of Liberty commemorative coin act was passed to fund the restoration of the statue on its 100th anniversary.

Liberty coins approved

By Burnett Anderson

Washington Bureau

The House of Representatives passed the long-awaited Statue of Liberty commemorative coin act June 24, only three days after the Senate approved the measure, and sent it to the President for signature.

In addition to three Statue of Liberty coins, a $5 gold, a $1 silver, and a 50-cent clad piece, the measure authorizes the first U.S. legal-tender silver bullion coin: A one-ounce, .999 fine silver coin carrying a nominal face value of $1.

But authorization of a controversial gold bullion coin that was expected to be part of the bill was dropped in the process of winning Senate approval.

The work on the statue is supposed to be completed in time for a rededication on its 100th anniversary next July 4, which will presumably be the time of greatest demand for the commemorative coins.

Thus the authorization for the silver coin provides that none shall be issued or sold before Sept. 1, 1986, or before the date on which all Statue of Liberty coins minted have been sold, whichever comes earlier.

The Statue of Liberty coinage bill authorizes up to 500,000 $5 gold coins of the traditional .900 fine gold specifications, 10 million silver dollar coins of the same specifications as the Morgan and Peace dollars and up to 25 million half-dollar clad coins.

They carry surcharges of $35, $7, and $2 each respectively. Surcharge income will be turned over to the foundation in charge of the restoration of the statue and Ellis Island immigration station.

Proof and uncirculated specimens are authorized for each denomination, but may be produced at only one mint each, setting a limit of six pieces for a complete set.

All the coins will be dated 1986 and, although striking is authorized as soon as the Mint can begin production, it must end not later than Dec. 31, 1986.