Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Mint today announced plans to strike 1999–dated Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coins (SBAs) to ensure the availability of dollar coins until the introduction of the new dollar coin in early 2000. The Mint will announce the start date for 1999–dated SBA production in the near future.
“Demand for dollar coins is growing as more mass transit authorities and vending operations convert to using the dollar coin,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl.
“As a result, we’re likely to exhaust current supplies of SBA dollars before the new dollar coin is available in January. We’re committed to providing an uninterrupted supply of dollar coins through this transition.”
“We also want to let collectors know that our annual Fall Catalog this year will feature a proof version of the coin and a Two–Coin Uncirculated Set including both P and D mint mark 1999–dated Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coins. We’ll announce prices and estimated production levels for the sets when the catalog is released in the fall.”
A total of 847.5 million Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coins were minted for circulation in 1979 and 1980, and 9.7 million coins for numismatic sets only in 1981. Because demand has increased for a dollar coin in commerce in recent years, the government’s supply of SBA dollars is nearly exhausted. The increase in demand is attributable to a growing recognition in the vending industry of the efficiencies of using dollar coins, including the convenience that comes from more rapid transactions.
Authorized by the United States $1 Coin Act of 1997, the new dollar coin’s Sacagawea obverse design and Eagle reverse design were unveiled at a White House ceremony on May 4.
Although the new dollar coin will be the same diameter as the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin, it will have some new features to ensure it is easily discernible for both the sighted and the seeing–impaired. The new dollar coin will be golden in color, with a smooth edge – in contrast to the reeded edge of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin – and have a wider border than current U.S. coinage. The Mint is currently completing research to develop an alloy to meet the requirements of the legislation, including mechanical and chemical simulated wear and tarnish testing.