CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Minting a coin to mark West Virginia's 150th birthday has proven a popular decision: The limited edition silver commemorative rounds sold out within 12 hours of their debut, officials said Monday.The state had 1,863 of the coins created, to reflect the year West Virginia gained statehood. Online sales had begun just after midnight, and officials said they were gone by 11:15 a.m. Monday.
The coins depict the official sesquicentennial logo on one side and a detailed engraving of the state seal on the other. They sold for $49 each.The West Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission continues to offer a brass version of the coin, set into a keychain and available online for $8.
West Virginia split from Virginia during the Civil War. Activities commemorating the state's birth are leading up to a major celebration in Charleston that runs from June 20 through the June 23 anniversary of statehood. Those events include concerts and parades as well as a 3-D movie and three nights of fireworks hosted at the state Capitol. The state also issued a commemorative coin in 1963, when it turned 100. Those have become collector's items. First lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin wears one that has been fashioned as a pendant for a necklace. Kay Goodwin, the governor's Education and the Arts secretary and sesquicentennial commission chairwoman, also has one passed down from her mother.