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Jan. 14, the United States Mint released two 2016 $5 Mark Twain Commemorative Gold Coins. They are available in proof and uncirculated collector qualities. This commemorative coin program is in recognition of Mark Twain’s literary and educational contributions.
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "The Great American Novel". Twain published 28 books, as well as many short stories, letters and sketches. He is remembered for addressing complex social situations that were facing Americans during his time. His books have been translated into more than 75 languages, and many are still in print today.
He maintained that his primary pen name came from his years working on Mississippi riverboats, where two fathoms, a depth indicating safe water for passage of boat, was measured on the sounding line. Twain is an archaic term for "two", as in "The veil of the temple was rent in twain." The riverboatman's cry was "mark twain" or, more fully, "by the mark twain", meaning "according to the mark [on the line], [the depth is] two [fathoms]", that is, "The water is 12 feet (3.7 m) deep and it is safe to pass."
The obverse features a portrait of Mark Twain with the inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY” and”2016”.
IN GOD WE TRUST
The reverse depicts a steamboat in the Mississippi River. The inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “$5” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (Latin for "Out of many, one").
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA