Washington, D.C. – Director of the Mint Philip N. Diehl today announced that samples of the new Golden Dollar coin are being loaned to vendors and manufacturers of coin acceptors for the vending industry to run full field tests and make any mechanical adjustments to their machines. The sample coins remain the property of the government and will be returned to the Mint when tests are completed.
“We want to ensure that coin–operated machines across the country are fully tested and ready to accept the new Golden Dollar when we release it early next year,” said Diehl.
“We worked closely with our stakeholders in coin–operated industries, and it has paid off with the development of a manganese brass alloy that matches the electro–magnetic signature, size and weight of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar,” said Diehl. “This allows the new Golden Dollar to be used in millions of coin–operated machines that currently accept the SBA.”
“The actual field tests will allow vendors to make final calibrations and adjustments to their equipment before the Golden Dollar enters commerce.”
Authorized by the United States Coin Act of 1997, the new Golden Dollar coin will replace the Susan B. Anthony coin in March 2000. With its golden color, wide border, smooth edge and extraordinary design, the Golden Dollar is one of the most distinctive and recognizable coins in U.S. history. In addition, extensive consumer testing has proven that the Golden Dollar’s smooth edge and the wider border is easily discernible from the quarter and previous dollar coin by touch alone.
Designed by American sculptor Glenna Goodacre, the obverse of the Golden Dollar features the likeness of Sacagawea, the young Shoshone woman who assisted Lewis and Clark on their journey westward from the Great Northern Plains to the Pacific. The reverse of the coin features a soaring eagle, a time–honored symbol of American heritage, and was designed by U.S. Mint sculptor Thomas Rogers. Also featured on the reverse of the coin are 17 stars, one for each of the states at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The Mint is prepared to produce enough Golden Dollars to meet strong public demand in 2000. Because it will be accepted immediately by millions of coin–operated machines, the Mint projects that in its first year the Golden Dollar will double current annual demand for the SBA, reaching 100 million coins.
To foster public acceptance of the Golden Dollar, the Mint is undertaking an unprecedented consumer awareness and education campaign. The initiative, which is modeled after corporate consumer product launches, includes a nationwide television, radio and print advertising campaign, select retail and banking partnerships, business–to–business marketing efforts and an extensive public relations program.