The United States
Mint hosted officials
from the Franklin Institute and the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary
Commission on December 19, 2005. The reason for the gathering was the
ceremonial striking of two new silver dollars celebrating the 300th
anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin in 1706.
The Mint will offer the Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coins in both
proof and Uncirculated condition. The first silver dollar, "Scientist,"
depicts on its obverse a view of a
young Ben Franklin and his kite in the midst of a June 1752 experiment
that led to a better understanding of electricity. The reverse design
illustrates one of Franklin’s best-known political cartoons, entitled
"Join, or Die", highlighted by a divided snake. The underlying message
of the cartoon demonstrated Franklin’s strongly held opinion that
colonial unity was vitally important.
"Founding Father" is the
theme of the second
coin and recalls the elderly statesman profile of Benjamin Franklin.
The reverse of the commemorative coin features a 1776
Continental Currency dollar, which carries designs originally
created by Franklin. In general, the second commemorative silver dollar
showcases the contributions made by Franklin in early American coinage
and as a framer of the United States Constitution.
The public started ordering the Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coins
on Franklin's birthday, January 17, 2006. Collectors can no longer
obtain the coins directly from the Mint, but as always, there are many
examples of the Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coins available on eBay.