authorizes commemorative coins that celebrate and honor American people, places,
events, and institutions. Although these coins are legal tender, they are not
minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced by the
United States Mint in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time.
As well as commemorating important aspects of American history and culture, these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price of these coins is a surcharge that goes to organizations and projects that benefit the community. For example, surcharges on the Capitol Visitor Center commemorative coins will help build a new visitor center under the East Plaza of the U.S. Capitol.
Since the modern commemorative coin program began in 1982, the United States Mint has
raised over $418,000,000 in surcharges to help build new museums, maintain
national monuments like the Vietnam War Memorial, preserve historical sites like
the home George Washington, support various Olympic programs, and much more. [source: U.S. Mint]
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