U.S. Mint releases 2009 Native American $1 Coin design on Native American Heritage Day
The United States Mint on Friday helped to celebrate Native American Heritage Day by unveiling the design image for the new 2009 Sacagawea $1 coin, officially entitled the "Native American $1 Coin." The dollar will begin circulating in January along with the first 2009 Presidential $1 Coin.
The new reverse designed by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Norman E. Nemeth depicts a Native American woman planting seeds in a field of corn, beans and squash. The scene represents the Three Sisters method of planting.
The coin features the same image of Sacagawea on the obverse, or "heads" side, which was first introduced in 2000. Sacagawea was a young Shoshone woman who accompanied Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their historic expedition-by sculptor Glenna Goodacre.
"We are proud to produce the Native American $1 Coin," said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. "When Americans use this coin, we hope they reflect on the tremendous contributions Native Americans have made, and continue to make, to our Nation."
New $1 coins were authorized by Congress through the Native American $1 Coin Act, which was signed into law in September 2007. The act mandates a new design each year, and an equal representative 20 percent mintage like each of the four yearly Presidential $1 coins. Like these coins, the new Sacagawea’s also now has mandated edge-incused inscriptions.
While many collectors have become fond of the new Presidential $1 coins since their release in 2007, their use in daily transactions is an uncommon occurrence. Nearly 500 million of the coins will have been minted in 2008, compared to over 940 million in 2007.
The presidential coin series, like the Sacagawea and Susan B. Anthony dollar programs before, has failed against the popularity of dollar bills. If past tradition holds, the latest Native American $1 Coin is likely to be most appreciated by collectors, and rarely seen in cash registers.