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Coin Type – Thomas Alva Edison – 2004

Coin Type - 2004 Thomas Alva Edison commemorative coin.

There is no denying that Thomas Alva Edison’s lightbulb had a profound impact on the entire world by lighting up the evening darkness. The 125th Anniversary of that invention was coming due in 2004 and the United States Congress saw fit to commemorate that anniversary with a Commemorative Silver Dollar coin honoring Edison and his life-changing invention.  

The obverse of this coin was designed again by Donna Weaver, who had previously designed several other commemorative coins during this period. The obverse of this coin depicts a half-length portrait of Edison, holding a lightbulb in his hand, facing the viewer. Above him is the word “LIBERTY” and to the right is “THOMAS ALVA EDISON.” To the left is “IN GOD WE TRUST” and again to the lower right is the date “2004.” 

The reverse was designed by the US Mint’s Chief Engraver John Mercanti, and it features a rendition of Edison’s first lightbulb with light rays emanating from it. The upper periphery has “125TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIGHT BULB,” and on either side are the dates “1879” and “2004.” Below those dates are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” the denomination “ONE DOLLAR,” and on the bottom periphery “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” 

This Commemorative Silver Dollar was struck in both Uncirculated and Proof versions, both struck at the Philadelphia Mint. A total of 500,000 coins was authorized by Congress across all versions but only 92,510 Uncirculated coins and 211,055 of the Proof coins were sold.  

The coins were sold individually, as a 2-coin set, and the Uncirculated Silver Dollar was also packaged together in a Collector’s Case that included a functioning light bulb that resembled one of Edison’s first bulbs.  

2004-P Thomas Alva Edison Silver Dollar, Proof, Obverse [left], Reverse [right].) 

Date Mintmark Denomination  Type Mintage Value 
2004 Silver Dollar Uncirculated 92,510 $55 
2004 Silver Dollar Proof 211,055 $50 
2004 Silver Dollar  BU Collector’s Set 25,000 $60 

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