March of Dimes Silver Dollar

Commemorative Coin Programs

Coin Information

Background

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal struggle with polio led him to create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now known as the March of Dimes) on January 3, 1938, at a time when polio was on the rise.

The Foundation established patient aid programs and funded research for polio vaccines developed by Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Tested in a massive field trial in 1954 that involved 1.8 million schoolchildren known as “polio pioneers,” the Salk vaccine was licensed for use on April 12, 1955, as “safe, effective, and potent.” The Salk and Sabin polio vaccines ultimately ended the polio epidemics in the United States.

With its original mission accomplished, the Foundation turned its focus to preventing birth defects, prematurity, and infant mortality in 1958. It began to fund research into the genetic, prenatal, and environmental causes of more than 3,000 birth defects. The Foundation’s investment in research has led to 13 scientists winning the Nobel Prize since 1954.

Since its founding, the March of Dimes has advocated for the passage of legislation critical to maternal and child health at both the federal and state levels, such as the Birth Defects Prevention Act, Children’s Health Act, PREEMIE Act, and Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act. The organization actively supports programs and funding related to prematurity prevention, newborn screening, birth defects, access to health insurance and health care, tobacco cessation, and many more issues that promote healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

The Legislation

Signed into law December 18, 2012, the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue silver dollar coins in recognition and celebration of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the March of Dimes Foundation.

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Recipient Organization: March of Dimes Foundation

A $10 surcharge collected from the sale of each coin is authorized to be paid to the Foundation to help finance research, education, and services aimed at improving the health of women, infants, and children.

Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.

Characteristics

The obverse (heads side) and reverse (tails side) designs are emblematic of the mission and programs of the March of Dimes Foundation and its distinguished record of generating Americans' support to protect children's health. Consistent with the traditions and heritage of the Foundation, the design themes represent the Foundation's past, present, and future and its role as champion for all babies.

Image of Jonas Salk used with permission of the family of Jonas Salk.

The obverse design–representing the past–depicts a profile view of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dr. Jonas Salk, two leaders in the fight against polio.

The reverse design depicts a baby cuddled in the hand of a parent, representing the foundation's dedication to the health of babies everywhere.

Both designs were selected by the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury on July 21, 2014.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • LIBERTY
  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • 2015

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • MARCH OF DIMES
  • $1
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM

Mint and Mint Mark

Specifications

Weight: 26.730 grams nominal
Diameter: 1.500 inches (± 0.003) or 38.10 mm (± 0.08)
Composition: 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper
Mintage limit: 500,000 across all product options

Artist Information

Obverse Reverse
  • Don Everhart, Sculptor-Engraver
Content last reviewed June 1, 2016

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