Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin accepted the recommendation of the Dollar Coin Advisory Committee that the new dollar coin contain an image representing Sacajawea, the Native American woman whose presence was essential to the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Secretary Rubin established the Dollar Coin Advisory Committee in May to recommend a design concept for the heads (obverse) side of the new dollar coin. The Committee on June 12 made their recommendation to Secretary Rubin that the new dollar coin bear a design of Liberty represented by a Native American woman, inspired by Sacajawea. Sacajawea was the Shoshone Indian tribe guide who in 1804 joined the Lewis and Clark expedition en route from the Ohio River Valley to the Pacific Ocean and back.
The United States Dollar Coin Act of 1997 required the Treasury Department to place into circulation a new dollar coin similar in size to the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, golden in color with a distinctive edge. The law required the Treasury Secretary, in consultation with Congress, to select the designs for both sides of the new coin, although the design on the tails (reverse) side is required under the statute to depict an eagle. Secretary Rubin determined that the design on the heads (obverse) side should be a representation of one or more women and could not depict a living person.
The actual design of the new dollar coin will now be created by the Mint sculptor/engravers. The law requires the new dollar coin to go into circulation once the supply of Susan B. Anthony dollar coins is depleted, estimated to be spring 2000.
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