Updated 04:03 AM EST, Tue, Nov 30, 2021

Mark Twain Collectible Coins to Benefit Museums & Colleges Honoring 'Adventures of Tom Sawyer' Author

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Collectible gold and silver coins honoring celebrated author Mark Twain, will be for the taking starting next year, with the proceeds to be distributed to four beneficiaries: University of California, Elmira College, the Mark Twain House and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum.

The latter half are based on two of Twain's most favorite places, while the universities are known for their devoted study programs and projects and their passion for preserving Twain's works and legacy.

As per MPR News, there will be 100,000 gold coins and 350,000 silver coins to be sold, bearing the face of the "Adventures of Tom Sawyer" author. The former will have a surcharge of $35, while the latter has a $10 addendum. It is believed that the sales could easily endow $1 million each for the recipients.

"With the topic of Mark Twain, I think we'll have a lot of people who are interested," Hannibal museum executive director Henry Sweets said in predicting the sales performance of the commemorative coins.

The coins show Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, wielding a pipe with the smoke manifesting into silhouettes of two of his most popular creations, Huck Finn and Jim. The other side of the coins have an image of a steamboat on the Mississippi, elements that figure prominently in his writings.

UC Berkeley, which is one of the beneficiaries of the project, will be using the donation for their ongoing Mark Twain Project, a program at the school's Bancroft Library that aims to study and promote Twain's writings.

It was the institution that fulfilled Twain's wishes for his autobiography to materialize a century after his death. UC Press published the first part of his biography back in 2010, with 275, 000 copies sold, as per Berkeley Side.

Speaking about the projected $1 million donation to be received by each of the recipients, Bancroft Library director Elaine C. Tennant said that the amount is a best case scenario, where each and every Twain commemorative coin should have been sold.

"For that to happen, all the morning stars would have to sing together and align themselves as they don't very often," Tennant said via Berkeley Side. Nevertheless, the university believes that the gift they will receive will "secure the future of its staff going forward."

Mark Twain Project hopes to "produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote" in the future.

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