Sacagawea Dollars (2000-Date)
Sacagawea Dollar Coin – first US coin to honor an actual Native American
Launched in 2000, the Sacagawea golden dollar coin was the first circulating US coin to feature an actual Native American, a woman and an infant. The obverse honors Sacagawea, the young Shoshone guide and interpreter who helped Lewis & Clark find a western route to the Pacific Ocean. The infant is her son, Jean Baptiste, born during the trek. A favorite with collectors, the coin's original intent was to replace the paper dollar.
Introduced as the US Dollar Coin Act of 1997
President Bill Clinton signed the US Dollar Coin Act of 1997 into law on December 1. No longer intended to replace the dollar bill, the new dollar coin "shall be golden in color, have a distinctive edge, [and] have tactile and visual features that make the denomination of the coin readily discernible." They are made with a copper, zinc and nickel combination that includes manganese brass which gives the coins their distinctive golden color.
New series expands coinage design
The call for a new dollar coin design produced 120 submissions. The winning motif for the obverse showed Sacagawea and her son by artist Glenna Goodacre. The eagle in flight by US Mint engraver Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. was selected for the reverse. The coin was minted from 2000 to 2008.
In 2009, the US Mint inaugurated a one-year-only reverse design program for the Sacagawea dollar that resulted in a numismatic name change to Native American dollars. Each reverse honors major Native American contributions to present. On these coins, the date, mint mark and the words e pluribus unum appear on the edge.
Sacagawea dollars were issued for circulation by the Philadelphia "P" and Denver "D" Mints and as Proofs by the San Francisco Mint. Circulating P and D Sacagawea dollars in 2002, 2007 and 2008 were made available only from the US Mint.
The reverse on an estimated 100 Sacagawea dollars were struck by Philadelphia with a prototype design featuring boldly detailed tail feathers for use in a promotion with the breakfast cereal Cheerios. Obverse designer Glenna Goodacre received 5,000 Sacagawea dollars struck on burnished planchets by polished dies that gave them a Prooflike finish. The Sacagawea dollars found in the Uncirculated Mint Sets of 2005-2010 were struck with Satin Finishes.Read More... Read Less...