Smithsonian 150th Anniversary Dollar

Commemorative Coin Programs

Coin Information

Released on August 5, 1996, this commemorative coin was released in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Smithsonian.

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Recipient Organization: Smithsonian Institution

Public Law 104-96 defined how the surcharges received by the Smithsonian Institution were to be directed:
  1. 85 percent of the amount transferred shall be available for such purposes as the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution determines to be appropriate.
  2. 15 percent of the amount transferred shall be dedicated to the support of the operation and activities of the National Numismatic Collection at the National Museum of American History.

Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.

Characteristics

The obverse design on the coin features an image of the first Smithsonian Institution building, known as the "Castle"; laurel leaves, and a dual date.

The reverse of the coin features a design of an allegorical figure carrying the torch of knowledge and sitting atop the world. This figure holds a scroll inscribed with the words, "art, history and science," and "For the increase and diffusion of knowledge."

Obverse Inscriptions

  • LIBERTY
  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • SMITHSONIAN
  • 1846-1996

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • ONE DOLLAR
  • FOR THE INCREASE AND DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE

Mint and Mint Mark

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Designer: Thomas D. Rogers
Reverse
  • Designer: John Mercanti

Related Information

Content last reviewed December 12, 2016

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