The United States House of Representatives has a new coin legislation act to consider in H.R.5601 – Erie Canal Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act. The bill, introduced by Representative Claudia Tenney (R-NY) calls for the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue 50,000 $5 gold coins, 400,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half-dollar clad coins in recognition of the bicentennial of the Erie Canal. The commemorative coins would be released in 2025, the 200th anniversary of the completing of the Erie Canal.
Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal traversed 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo. It is the longest artificial waterway and the greatest public works project in North American. The canal provided an important step in the United States at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, allowing for increased productivity and the spread of machinery and manufactured goods. The canal effectively cut travel time between Albany and Buffalo in half and reduced shipping rates by some 90%.
The text of H.R. 5601 can be found here but calls for production of the somewhat standard commemorative coins that are issued annually. That is to include:
- $5 Gold Coin with a mintage of no more than 50,000
- $1 Silver Coin with a mintage no more than 400,000
- Half Dollar Clad Coin with a mintage of no more than 750,000
As is normally the case, the bill calls for a surcharge to be added to the price of the coins. That, in turn, will be sent to the Eric Canal Heritage Fund. The surcharges will be $35 on the $5 gold coin, $10 for the silver dollar, and $5 for the half dollar.
At the time of this article, H.R. 5601 has been introduced into the House. That occurred on October 15, 2021. No further action has happened on the bill.