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US Mint Coins for 2009
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Coin for the Blind
Braille Commemorative Coin to appear in 2009
Coin Bill Passes Congress !
The US Congress agrees that the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille is a good occasion to honor his work for those with visual handicaps.
Louis Braille invented the raised dot alphabet that allows the blind and sight impaired to easily read by feeling the raised dots on paper or other material.
The congressional bill authorizes the United States Mint to make a maximum of 400,000 special commemorative Silver Dollars. Most likely during 2009, and no more coins are to be minted thereafter.
Coin images released by the US Mint.
The front of the commemorative dollar is to have a design showing an image of Louis Braille. The coin’s back (reverse) will show details using Braille literacy as its theme. Braille $ coins will be sold in special government packaging for a substantial premium over face value. They will be minted from 90% pure coin silver. Ten dollars from the sale of each coin will be used to support the National Federation of the Blind.
In 1812, at the age of three years old Louise Braille became blind himself. He lived in Paris France as a child, and his story goes like this: As a small child he was playing with a feather pen that belonged to his father. He accidently poked himself in the eye. During this time antibiotics had not been invented. His eye became infected and soon the infection spread to both eyes. He survived, but was left permanently blind in both eyes.
As he grew older he was challenged to find ways to help people like himself. The French army used a code that consisted of dots and dashes to spell out words. He decided such a code if used in the right format might be something that could help the blind to read. Based on the army code the modified it into a system of raised dots. With different arrangements of the dots indicating a specific letter. Combinations of dots could then be read as words. When a blind person learns the Braille reading system he or she can feel the dots using finger tips and tell what the letters are. With a little practice doing this a blind person can learn to read fairly fast. Many libraries have sections with Braille books in them.
Expectations are the Braille Silver Dollar will also have some raised Braille letters on it's reverse.
See House of Representative Bill # HR2872 (Feb. 2006)
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