The Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act of 2011, numbered H.R. 497, is the first coin-related bill introduced this year and in the 112th Congress.
The legislation calls for up to 50,000 $5 coins and 300,000 $1 coins featuring an image of Reagan on the obverse or heads side with an inscription that celebrates the 100th anniversary of his birth, which is on Sunday, February 6, 2011.
However, should the legislation pass through both chambers of Congress and get signed into law by the President this year, the coins would not be issued until calendar year 2017.
Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States.
The reverse or tails side of the commemorative coins would feature a design that is similar to the one on the reverse of American Gold Eagle coins. That design depicts an American eagle carrying an olive branch, flying above a nest containing another eagle and hatchlings. Inscriptions would include Liberty, In God We Trust, United States of America, and E Pluribus Unum.
H.R. 497 calls for both proof and uncirculated collector coins, with only one United States Mint facility used to produce any particular version. The $5 gold coin specifications include a weight of 8.359 grams, a diameter of 0.805 inches and a composition of 90 percent gold and 10 percent alloy. The $1 silver coins would weigh 26.73 grams, have a diameter of 1.5 inches and contain 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.
Surcharges for each coin sold would flow to the Army Emergency Relief for financial assistance to individuals in need.
The Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act is familiar to collectors who watch coin legislation. Similar bills with the exact names have been introduced since 2001 — at least one in the 107th, the 108th, the 109th and the 111th Congress. All have died from inaction, having not passed in the House or Senate.
H.R. 497, like the similar bill before it in the 111th Congress, was introduced by Rep. Robert E. Latta of Ohio. 28 cosponsors have added their name to the bill.
The Ronald Reagan Commemorative Coin Act is referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.