Native American $1 Coin Program

The word “dollar” comes from the German word “Thaler,” a large silver German coin. The dollar was one of the first silver coins made, in 1794. Since then the dollar coin has been minted periodically with different versions of Liberty and other individuals on the obverse, including those of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1971-1978), suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1979-1981, 1999), and Sacagawea in 2000.

In 2000, the United States Mint released the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, which featured a portrait of Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean-Baptiste on the obverse (heads side) and an eagle on the reverse (tails side), under Public Law 105-124, also known as the United States $1 Coin Act of 1997 (Section 4 of the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act).

In 2009, the United States Mint began minting and issuing $1 coins featuring designs celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The Native American $1 Coin Program is authorized by the Native American $1 Coin Act (Public Law 110-82).

Note: Native American $1 coins are circulating quality produced as collectibles, not for everyday transactions. However, they may be still used as legal tender.

Native American $1 Coins

Design Requirements

The obverse (heads side) design retains the central figure of the “Sacagawea” design first produced in 2000 with the inscriptions LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST. The reverse (tails side) design changes each year to honor an important contribution of Indian tribes or individual Native Americans with the inscriptions $1 and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Reverse designs for the Native American $1 Coin are selected by the Secretary of the Treasury after consulting with the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Congress of American Indians, and after public review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Like Presidential $1 Coins, Native American $1 Coins have a distinctive edge, are golden in color, and feature edge-lettering of the year, mint mark and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

During the years of the program that correspond with the Presidential $1 Coin Program, Native American $1 Coins will be issued, to the maximum extent practicable, in the chronological order in which the Native Americans depicted lived or the events recognized occurred. Following the conclusion of the Presidential $1 Coin Program, the Native American $1 Coin Program coins will be issued in any order determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Congress of American Indians, and after public review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

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