Mark Twain enthusiasts have a little more than four months to wait before lightening their purse strings to purchase a coin not likely bound for that very purse, a piggy bank or a gumball machine. But fans will have to wait just a little more than one month more to discover the design of the special coin sure to pique the interest of coin collectors and Twain scholars.

Mark Twain enthusiasts have a little more than four months to wait before lightening their purse strings to purchase a coin not likely bound for that very purse, a piggy bank or a gumball machine. But fans will have to wait just a little more than one month more to discover the design of the special coin sure to pique the interest of coin collectors and Twain scholars.

A limited amount of commemorative coins bearing the likeness of the famed Hannibal author will go on sale in February 2016, the zenith of a process begun in 2012 with the signing of a public law by President Barack Obama.

An unveiling planned by the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in late November will feature a mustache contest, masquerade mask contest and the unfolding of the coin’s design — a secret the U.S. Mint has so far guarded from most, including the Hannibal museum’s staff.

“We do not have that information,” Melissa Cummins, marketing manager for the museum, said when pressed about the coin’s treatment of the literary giant. “All of that will be sent at a later date.”

While the likeness of Twain on the coin remains a mystery, certain details have been set.

The U.S. Mint will produce 100,000 $5 gold coins and 350,000 $1 silver coins. The coins will go on sale with a surcharge of $35 for the gold coin and $10 for the silver coin.

The Boyhood Home will receive a limited number of coins that will go on sale at the museum’s gift shop.

The U.S. Mint plans to reveal the design Nov. 27. The museum’s event will take place Nov. 28, two days before Twain’s 180th birthday.

Mustache aficionados will have more than a month to prepare for a mustache contest, which will have three different categories, including a Mark Twain-style division.

At 2 p.m., the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners of the mask competition will be announced. At 3 p.m., the unveiling of the coin’s design will take place.

The coin may be priceless to some, but the sale of the commemorative coin will reap significant benefits for four institutions closely associated with Twain.

The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury will divvy one quarter of the revenue gained from the surcharge on each coin to each of the following: the Mark Twain House & Museum in Hartford, Conn.; University of California, Berkeley, Calif. (for the benefit of the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library); Elmira College in New York (Center for Mark Twain Studies); and the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal.

With both the surcharge and production quantities set, the Boyhood Home and Museum could see up to $1.75 million from the sale of the coins.

Cummins said the revenue would be “a tremendous bonus for the museum.”

Several buildings on the museum’s property have undergone renovation or are currently closed for repair.

“That money will be able to support with the general upkeep of the museum properties,” Cummins said.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .