Last week the United States Mint unveiled reverse designs for the 2015 and 2016 Native American $1 Coins.
The dollar program, which features annually changing reverses and was introduced in 2009, celebrates the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States.
For 2015, the chosen design is based on the theme of "Mohawk high iron workers, builders of New York City and other skylines (from 1886)." It will be followed in 2016 with the theme of "Code Talkers from both World War I and World War II (1917-1945)."
U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Ronald D. Sanders designed the reverse for the 2015 coin. It showcases a Mohawk ironworker guiding an i-beam on a high-rise with a view of the city skyline in the background.
Inscriptions around the design include United States of America, $1 and Mohawk Ironworkers. Sculpting for the image will be completed by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
2016 Native American $1 Coin reverses will feature a design of two helmets with the inscriptions WWI and WWII. Two feathers in the design form a "V," as a symbol for victory, unity and the importance of the code talkers program.
U.S. Mint Artist Thomas D. Rogers, Sr. designed this reverse with sculpting responsibilities to be determined later. Inscriptions will include United States of America and $1.
The dollar series was enacted by Congressional legislation in 2007, named The Native American $1 Coin Act and numbered Public Law 110-82. Previous designs featured the following themes:
- 2009 – Three Sisters Agriculture
- 2010 – Great Tree of Peace and the Iroquois Confederacy
- 2011 – Great Wampanoag Nation
- 2012 – Trade Routes
- 2013 – Treaty with the Delawares
- 2014 – Native Hospitality Ensured the Success of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
Since the program debut, the obverse of Native American $1 Coins has featured the same portrait of "Sacagawea," as designed by sculptor Glenna Goodacre. Inscriptions around Sacagawea read LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
An edge inscription indicates the year, mint mark, and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Each coin features a composition of 88.5% copper, 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese and 2% nickel. They weigh 8.1 grams, have a diameter of 26.49 mm and a thickness of 2.00 mm.
Native American $1 Coins are no longer released directly into circulation, but new releases are available from the United States Mint in multiple numismatic programs. Typically, these products include the annual sets along with rolls, bags and boxes of the strikes.