The U.S. Mint hosted a ceremony on Friday, December 14, 2018 to kick off the American Innovation™ $1 Coin Program. The program is a multi-year initiative to honor innovators and innovations from each state, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories—Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.
Mint Director David Ryder and Marc Landry, Acting Associate Director of the Mint’s Numismatic and Bullion Directorate, were on hand to present the introductory coin to the public, signaling the official launch of the program. Following the ceremony, products containing the introductory coin were available for purchase at the U.S. Mint Coin Store. Ryder signed autographs and met with members of the public and employees.
The 2018 American Innovation $1 Coin designs showcase excellence in inspired numismatic design and craftsmanship. The obverse (heads) features a fresh and bold portrayal of the Statue of Liberty. Designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Justin Kunz, and brought to life by the craftsmanship of U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, this design showcases a beloved symbol of our nation from a distinctive perspective.
The reverse (tails) was designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Donna Weaver. She used the concept of an idea originating in your mind — how the figurative wheels begin to turn — as an inspiration for the design. The stylized gears represent industry and innovation. The design was masterfully sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
Ryder noted that the images and inscriptions ultimately chosen as symbols of innovation will have both unifying and educational value. He said, “The very nature of this program provides an opportunity for us to become better connected with each other by learning more about our fellow Americans across this vast land that we call home.”
See more Inside the Mint articles