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Celebrating An American Icon: The 2016 Mark Twain $5 Gold Proof Coin


Mark Twain once famously said, “the lack of money is the root of all evil.” And speaking of money, the man is now etched onto a $5 gold coin of his own. Go figure. To think of what Mr. Clemens would say about the idea of his face on a gold coin—likely something witty, if not sarcastic. But nevertheless, the 2016 Mark Twain $5 Proof Gold Coin has arrived, to the celebration of coin collectors and American literature enthusiasts alike.


Read on to learn more about the man and the coin that’s dedicated to him, then check out our massive inventory of coin collecting supplies—big enough to rival a personality as large as Twain’s!


About the Man


It’s hard to capture the essence of Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, in a mere few words. The adventurousness of his personality rings true upon reading his works—Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court—all literary classics, encapsulate well the spirit of the man who penned them. While Twain authored his masterworks at his grand mansion in Hartford—during a time when the city was, in his opinion, the world’s greatest—he always remained a Missourian at heart.


Beyond his works of fiction, Mark Twain’s cunning wit and satire lives on. Because of his knack for humor, Twain was one of the most sought out orators of his day. Organizations, institutions, governments and private persons from far and wide hankered for Twain to speak at their engagements.


Needless to say, Twain was one of the greatest authors of all time, and a true American icon. For that, the Mint has honored the legacy he’s created with a gold coin.


About the Coin


Its obverse features a ¾ profile portrait of Twain, surrounded by “LIBERTY,” 2016 and “IN GOD WE TRUST,” along with the “W” mint mark for West Point. Its reverse tributes the place that inspired Twain’s masterworks, and the pen name he tied to those works—a steamboat floating on the Mississippi River.


As a young man, Twain worked the steamboats on the Mississippi, which is precisely where characters like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Jim centered their adventures. Back when he was a steamboat pilot, Clemens would hear the crew shouting “mark twain!” which indicated that they were in safe 12 foot waters. When it came time to put pen to paper, such was the name signed.




  • $5 denomination

  • 90% gold/10% alloy

  • 0.3 ounces/8.39 grams

  • Reeded edge

  • Mint mark: W (minted at West Point)

Whether or not you’re a fan of Twain (let’s be honest, who isn’t?), if you’re a serious coin collector, his newly issued $5 Gold Proof is a must-have. But no great collection would be complete without coin collector supplies to complement it, so make sure to browse our inventory today!


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