On September 20, 2011, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives which seeks to authorize three commemorative coins to be issued for the bicentennial of the election of James Monroe as President. A similar bill was introduced in the last session of Congress, but it failed to become law.
The current bill H.R. 2968 James Monroe Commemorative Coin Act would authorize up to 20,000 $50 gold coins containing one troy ounce of gold; up to 275,000 silver dollars; and up to 500,000 clad half dollars. The denomination for the gold coins would be unique amongst modern commemorative coins, which have carried denominations of either $5 or $10, and gold content of of 0.2418 or 0.4837 troy ounces.
Designs for the coins would be “emblematic of President James Monroe and his immeasurable contributions to the United States.” More specifically, the obverse of the coins would bear the side profile image of James Monroe based on Rembrandt Peale’s 1830 portrait. The reverse of the coins would bear the image of the Monroe birthplace as drawn by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation based on the 1830 drawing published as an etching. The final designs would be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the James Monroe Memorial Foundation, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Coins would be minted in proof and uncirculated qualities and may be issued during the one year period beginning on January 1, 2016. There is a requirement for one facility of the United States Mint to strike proof quality and at least one other facility to strike uncirculated quality coins for each of the three coins.
Pricing for the coins would include surcharges of $35 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half dollar. The surcharges would be distributed to the James Monroe Memorial Foundation for the development and continuing support of the reconstructed birthplace, supporting education programs, and collecting and preserving artifacts.
James Monroe has previously been depicted on the 1923 Monroe Doctrine Centennial Half Dollar, pictured at the beginning of the article, and on the 2008 James Monroe Presidential Dollar shown above.