Today, April 9, 2012, the United States Mint made available the Chester Arthur Presidential Dollar Coin Cover for $19.95. It follows the recent release of Arthur dollars in rolls and boxes on April 5.
The limited edition cover, up to 22,000 units may be ordered, features two Chester Arthur Presidential $1 coins from the first day of production. The one from the U.S. Mint facility in Denver was struck on December 22, 2011, and the other from Philadelphia was minted on January 11, 2012. These $1 coins are mounted within a display card featuring a portrait of the President.
Also on the coin cover is a 45-cent Weather Vane postage stamp with a postmark of "March 12, 2012, Fairfield, VT," per the online page dedicated to the product on the U.S. Mint website.
Since the Arthur dollar is the first Presidential $1 coin that was not released into circulation via the banking system, its sales will be closely watched to see how they stack up to previous year issues. The coin cover series is fairly popular with collectors. The immediately previous Garfield Coin Dollar Cover opened with sales of 13,843 after five days while the Grant cover started with sales of 15,695 in six days.
Typical sales in the series of Presidential Coin Covers have been above 18,000 after about a year, but they also remain available much longer. In fact, every cover from 2009 to the present is still for sale from the U.S. Mint.
Dollar Coin Designs
The obverse or heads side of the $1 features a portrait of Arthur, designed and sculpted by Don Everhart. Inscriptions include "CHESTER ARTHUR," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "21st PRESIDENT" and "1881-1885."
The reverse of every Presidential $1 coin is Don Everhart’s design of the Statue of Liberty. Inscriptions are "$1" and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
Edges of the coins have the inscription "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and the year of mintage.
Chester Arthur: 21st President, 21st in Presidential $1 Coin Series
Arthur, the 21st U.S. President, was born in Fairfield, Vermont, in 1829. He practiced law in New York City in 1853 before he served as Quartermaster General of the State of New York in the Civil War. Later he became the Collector of the Port of New York in 1871, but he was ousted by President Hayes in 1878 during an attempt to reform the Customs House.
In 1881, Arthur went to Washington D.C. as the Vice President under the newly elected President, James Garfield. Garfield, however, was assassinated within a few months, and Arthur took the oath of Presidency on September 20, 1881.
By the time his term ended in 1885, Arthur was known as a champion of civil service reform, mostly because he signed the Pendleton Act in 1883 which created a non-partisan civil service.
Past U.S. Mint Presidential Dollar Product Releases
Presidential Dollars started in 2007 with the release of $1 coins featuring George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The following year saw $1 coins honoring James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.
In 2009, the coins depicted William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor, and the 2010 $1 coin honored Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. 2011 featured dollar coins of Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield.
Following Chester Arthur, the next three 2012 dollars will honor Grover Cleveland’s first term, Benjamin Harrison, and Grover Cleveland’s second term.
Arthur $1 Mintages
As mentioned earlier, the Mint suspended circulation production of Presidential$1 coins as directed by the Treasury Secretary. They are currently minted solely to meet collector demand. Therefore, the U.S. Mint has only produced 5.74 million circulation quality Arthur dollars, the scarcest in the series. As a comparison, 74.2 million of the Garfield dollars were minted toward the end of 2011.
Order Coin Cover from U.S. Mint
Orders for the Chester Arthur $1 Coin Cover may be placed using the Mint’s online catalog page located at:
Orders may also be called in via the Mint’s toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). A $4.95 shipping and handling charge will be charged to all domestic orders.
Rolls and boxes of the dollars are available directly from the United States Mint as well. The special Mint-wrapped $25 rolls containing either Denver or Philadelphia strikes have a price of $32.95, and boxes with 250 coins are $275.95. The 500-coin box is $550.95. Extra shipping and handling fees apply to the boxes.