2009 US Mint Braille Education Set

United States Mint Braille Education Set -  Click to Enlarge

United States Mint Braille Education Set - Click to Enlarge

For the first time in history, the US Mint is issuing a coin with collectible packaging that contains genuine Braille text. The Braille Education Set is slated to be offered for sale on October 8, 2009 at Noon (Eastern Time).

In addition to the readable Braille, the set is going to contain educational information and an uncirculated 2009 Louis Braille Commemorative Silver Coin.

Born in France, Braille lost the sight in his left eye at the age of three from an accident with a tool in his father's workshop. An infection spread to his right eye, and by the age four he was blind. Braille went to the the Royal Institute for Blind Children in Paris, where he learned to read from large letters imprinted on paper.

Unhappy with this system, Braille designed a new one based on night writing shown to him by Charles Barbier de la Serre, a captain in Napoleon's army. Louis Braille used 6 dots in 2 columns to represent letters in the alphabet. This code punched into paper can be read by feel, and is the essence the Braille system still in use today. The Louis Braille Silver Dollars commemorate the 200th anniversary (the bicentennial) of the his birth.

Louis Braille Uncirculated Silver Coin - Click to Enlarge

Louis Braille Uncirculated Silver Coin - Click to Enlarge

The uncirculated Braille silver coin was first offered for sale by itself for $33.95 on March 26, 2009. A proof version is also available for $44.95. A maximum mintage limit of 400,000 across all product option is in place for these coins. Only 25,000 of the 2009 Braille Education Sets are authorized.

"The United States Mint is proud to present the 2009 Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar coin design." US Mint Director Moy said when the was first introduced. "It will be the first coin ever minted in the history of our country to contain readable Braille characters."

Each coin is composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. The Mint has instituted an initial order limit of one per household for the sets, with that limit scheduled to be reviewed every 30 days and adjusted if necessary.

As with the individual coins, $10 from each purchase will be forwarded to the National Federation of the Blind to continue that institutions program for those visually impaired.


2009 Braille Uncirculated Coin Specifications

Mint: United States Mint in Philadelphia
Finish/Condition: Uncirculated
Composition: 90% silver, 10% copper
Weight: 26.730 grams nominal
Diameter: 1.500 inches (+-0.003) or 38.10 mm (+-0.08)
Edge: Reeded
Date of Issue: 2009
Obverse Designer/Sculptor: Joel Iskowitz; Phebe Hemphill
Reverse Designer/Sculptor: Susan Gamble; Joseph Menna
Mintages: 25,000 for this set

2009 Braille Silver Coin Resources