Native American Dollar 2009 - Present


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 2009 to Present
Mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco
Composition: 0.770 copper, 0.120 zinc, .070 manganese, .040 nickel
Diameter: 26.5 mm
Weight: 8.1 grams
Total Mintage: still in production
Edge: Lettered including year, mint mark and E PLURIBUS UNUM


“To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue coins in commemoration of Native Americans and the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the development of the United States and the history of the United States, and for other purposes.” Public Law 110-082 (from US Mint site)

The Mint is now producing 5 dollar coins each year, 4 Presidential coins and one Native American Dollar. Public Law 110-82 requires that at least 20% of the dollar coins minted each year are "Native American" dollars. This requirement will continue until the Presidential dollar coin program is complete.

The Obverse continues the ¾ profile portrait of Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian guide, who accompanied Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their Journey of Exploration across North America in 1804-6. In another first for American coinage the portrait on the obverse show Sacagawea carrying Jean Baptiste, her infant son strapped to her back. Six months pregnant when she joined the expedition, Sacagawea gave birth to the boy early in the journey and carried him to the end. The design was submitted and executed by Glenda Goodacre

The Reverse design will be changed on a yearly basis to reflect a scene commemorative of Native American Indians. The designs will be selected to be illustrative of events during the time frame covered by the four presidential dollars issued in that year. The Native American $1 Coin Program designs will be determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, the House of Representatives Congressional Native American Caucus and the National Congress of American Indians.

The 2009 Reverse design is "the three sisters" that illustrates a common Native American agricultural practice of planting three separate crops (Corn, Beans and Squash) in a symbiotic relationship that maximized the yield of each and minimized the amount of labor necessary to maintain the crop.


[from the mint web site]

The 2010 Reverse commemorates the Haudenosaunee Confederation, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy. This Political structure was created by the Native Americans tribes of upstate New York including the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca in the early 1400s. The Hiawatha Belt is a visual record of the creation of the Haudenosaunee. It includes 5 symbols representing the 5 original Nations. The Great White Pine symbolizing Haudenosaunee, is the central figure on the belt, and represents the Onondaga Nation. The four square symbols on the belt represent the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca nations. The bundle of 5 arrows symbolizes strength in unity for the Iroquois Confederacy.


[from the mint web site]

The 2011 reverse was announced in spring 2010 after the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) had a chance to review candidate designs and make recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury. The design chosen is symbolic of the treaty between the Massasoit and Governor John Carver of Plymouth. The final design shows the hands of the Massasoit and John Carver exchanging a pipe during the peace pipe ceremony.


[from the mint web site]

In early 2011 the mint announced the theme for the 2012 Native American $1 Coin as "Trade Routes in the 17th Century." After preliminary discussion the design theme was refined to reflect the influence of the horse on Native American culture and trade. The reverse design selected later in the year features a Native American and horse in profile with horses running in the background, representing the historical spread of the horse.


[from the mint web site]

The 2013 design commemorates the Delaware Treaty of 1778. the design includes a Turtle, a Turkey, and a Baying Wolf; all symbols of the various clans of the Delaware. The design includes 13 stars and the inscription, "Treaty with the Delewares 1778" in addition to the required inscriptions. The design was executed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. Designers initials of SG and Engravers initials of PH are also included under the image.


[from the mint web site]

The 2014 Native American $1 Coin commemorates how Native American hospitality ensured the success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Its reverse design depicts a Native American man offering a pipe while his wife offers provisions of fish, corn, roots and gourds. In the background is a stylized image of the face of William Clark's compass highlighting "NW," the area in which the expedition occurred. It includes the required inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and $1.


[from the mint web site]

The 2015 Native American $1 Coin commemorates the contributions of the Kahnawake Mohawk and Mohawk Akwesasne communities to “high iron” construction work and the building of New York City skyscrapers. The reverse design depicts a Mohawk ironworker reaching for an I-beam that is swinging into position, rivets on the left and right side of the border, and a high elevation view of the city skyline in the background. The design includes the required inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “$1,” and the additional inscription “MOHAWK IRONWORKERS.”


General Market Notes

Note that while the coinage laws require that at least 20% of the dollars minted in any year be Native American Dollars, there is no requirement written in the law to allow Banks to special order these coins from the Federal Reserve (a provision that is included in the Presidential Dollar Coinage act). Because of the glut of unpopular dollar coins on the market, the FED did not order many of the 2009 Native American Dollars and has publicly announced that they have no plans to order any of the 2010 Native American Dollars. This means that the only way that collectors can obtain these coins is through the U.S. Mint Direct ship program. Under this program the public can order cases containing 10 twenty five dollar roles (Total $250) direct from the mint and the mint will pay the shipping (Note that in Nov 2011 the mint instituted shipping charges on these orders). These cases are business strike coins and might be from either the Philadelphia or Denver mint.

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