A US commemorative coin cannot happen unless a law is passed. The Public Law that made the Booker T. Washington Commemorative And Washington Carver coin happen is below.
[PUBLIC LAW 610—79TH CONGRESS]
[CHAPTER 763—2D SESSION]
[H. R. 6528]
To authorize the coinage of 50-cent pieces to commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That to commemorate the life and perpetuate the ideals and teachings of Booker T. Washington, a great American, there shall be coined by the Director of the Mint not to exceed five million silver 50-cent pieces of standard size, weight, and fineness and of a special appropriate design to be fixed by the Director of the Mint, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury; but the United States shall not be subject to the expense of making the models for master dies or other preparations for this coinage.
SEC. 2. The coins herein authorized shall be issued at par, and only upon the request of the Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial established at his birthplace in Franklin County, Virginia.
SEC. 3. Such coins may be disposed of at par or at a premium by banks or trust companies selected by the Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial of Franklin County, Virginia, and all proceeds therefrom shall be used to purchase, construct, and maintain suitable memorials to the memory of Booker T. Washington, deceased, as may be decided upon by the Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial of Virginia.
SEC. 4. All laws now in force relating to the subsidiary silver coins of the United States and the coining or striking of the same; regulating and guarding the process of coinage; providing for the purchase of material, and for the transportation, distribution, and redemption of the coins; for the prevention of debasement or counterfeiting; for the security of the coin; or for any other purposes, whether said laws are penal or otherwise, shall, so far as applicable, apply to the coinage herein directed.
SEC. 5. The coins authorized herein shall be issued in such numbers, and at such times shall be requested by the Booker T. Washington Birthplace Memorial and upon payment to the United States of the face value of such coins: Provided, That none of such coins shall be issued after the expiration of the five-year period immediately following the enactment of this Act.
Approved, August 7, 1946.