Last week, a long-time friend of the Louis Braille School stopped by with a unique gift, a Louis Braille bicentennial silver dollar. The coin commemorates the 200th birthday of Louis Braille, inventor of the raised dot method of reading and writing used by those who are blind.
The “heads” side of the coin features a portrait of Louis Braille and the inscriptions “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “Louis Braille,” “1809,” and “2009.”
The “tails” side features a child sitting at a table reading a braille book. The word “Independence” is depicted on a bookshelf behind the child. “BRL,” the braille contraction for the word “braille,” is shown in the upper part of the coin. This side of the coin also has the inscriptions “United States of America,” “One Dollar,” and “E Pluribus Unum.”
The Louis Braille silver dollar is the first US coin to bear readable braille. The Alabama state quarter, issued in 2003, features a portrait of Helen Keller and her name in print and braille, but the braille is too small to discern by touch.
Mintage of the Louis Braille coin, which is 90% silver, is limited to 400,000, and is available in proof and uncirculated versions.
We will be happy to show visitors to the Louis Braille School our bright, shining Louis Braille silver dollar. We think it is quite special.