Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
Mt. Rushmore Anniversary $5 Gold Coin (1991)
I'm head over heels ... or should I say flippers ... about this month's coin. Yep, it's me, Flip the Mint Seal, here to tell you about a commemorative coin honoring a national monument dedicated in March of 1931. It's the Mt. Rushmore Anniversary $5 Gold Coin
Why am I so excited about this coin? First, because it's really beautiful—struck in gleaming gold. Secondly, because the monument it commemorates is so amazing—like nothing else in the whole world.
Maybe you've heard of the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. It's a huge carving 500 feet up the side of a mountain in South Dakota. Gazing out from it are the stone faces of four American Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Each face is about 60 feet high, big enough to be seen more than fifty miles away.
As you might expect, these carvings took a very long time to do. The artist, Gutzon Borglum, started in 1927, but died before he could finish it. His son completed the work fourteen years later, in 194l. To honor their effort, the United States Mint issued this coin in 1991, on the fiftieth anniversary of the monument's completion.
The obverse of the coin shows an eagle in flight, holding a mallet and chisel like the ones the sculptors used; the reverse has the words Mount Rushmore National Monument, written in script. Just 500,000 pieces were minted, both in Proof and Uncirculated condition, which makes this coin somewhat rare.