Commemorative coins celebrating the semicentennial of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are now available from the United States Mint, as authorized under Public Law 110-451.
On Thursday, January 2, 2014, the US Mint starting accepting orders for two different coin collecting products honoring the anniversary with another "Tell Your Story Set" product coming later in the year. The two 90% silver commemorative coins and their beginning prices are:
- the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Uncirculated Silver Dollar for $44.95
- the 2014 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Proof Silver Dollar for $49.95
The US Mint describes these prices as "introductory" and lasting until February 3 at 3 p.m. ET. Prices will then rise to their "regular" level, which is $5 higher. Lower intro pricing for commemorative coins has been a practice of the US Mint for at least the last couple of years. Also, the US Mint is required by Public Law 110-451 to include a $10 surcharge for each coin sold that will go to the United Negro College Fund. The prices above include the surcharge amount.
Silver dollar obverses (heads) depict three people holding hands at a civil rights march with one of them having a sign reading "We Shall Overcome." The image is emblematic of the marches that helped galvanize the civil rights movement. Inscriptions are 2014, LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
Silver dollar reverses (tails) show three flames intertwined to symbolize the freedom of education, freedom to vote and freedom to control one’s destiny. This design was inspired by the Martin Luther King, Jr. quote: "They get the fire hose. They fail to realize that water can only put out physical fire. But water can never drown the fire of freedom." Inscriptions around the image are CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964, SIGNED INTO LAW JULY 2, 1964, EPLURIBUS UNUM, ONE DOLLAR and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
In further design details for the reverse, the proof silver dollar is enhanced with multiple finishes — a combination described as a first by the Mint. The reverse of the uncirculated silver dollar does not have the special multiple finish treatment.
The obverse was designed by Justin Kunz and engraved by Phebe Hemphill. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Jim Licaretz.
For more information about the coins or to order them or any other coin collecting product from the US Mint, visit their online site at www.usmint.gov.
There are no household ordering limits for these two commemorative coins but there is an overall mintage limit of 350,000 across all production options.
As for the upcoming "Civil Rights Act of 1964 Tell Your Story Set," there is little information about it at this point. A coin news release from the US Mint described the set as having a space to let a person "reflect on their participation in the events leading up to, or how they have been affected by, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."
These coins represent one of two commemorative programs from the United States Mint in 2014. Later in the year it will also issue curved shaped 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemoratives Coins in 50-cent clad, silver dollar and $5 gold versions.