Smithsonian 150th Anniversary Gold $5

Commemorative Coin Programs

Background

Released on August 5, 1996, this commemorative coin honors 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 a classical bust of James Smithson with the double date, 1846-1996.

The reverse of the coin features a design of the Smithsonian's sunburst logo and the word "Smithsonian". The design elements of the foreground of the coin are raised and frosted, and the sunburst on this version of the coin is incused and highly polished with a frosted background.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • FOR THE INCREASE AND DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE
  • LIBERTY
  • 1896-1996
  • JAMES SMITHSON
  • IN GOD WE TRUST

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • FIVE DOLLARS
  • SMITHSONIAN

Mint and Mint Mark

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Designer: Alfred Maletsky
Reverse
  • Designer: T. James Ferrell

Related Information

Content last reviewed December 12, 2016

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