The United States Mint revealed the one-year-only design that will appear on the 2019 Native American $1 Coin.
Honoring American Indians in the U.S. space program, the design pairs nicely with those on 2019 Apollo 11 Commemorative Coins which celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
The reverse of the 2019 Native American dollar depicts renowned engineer Mary Golda Ross writing calculations. Behind her, an Atlas-Agena rocket launches into space, with an equation inscribed in its cloud. An astronaut, symbolic of Native American astronauts like John Herrington, spacewalks above. In the field behind, a group of stars indicates outer space. Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and $1. Emily Damstra created the design and Joseph Menna sculpted it.
Considered the first Native American engineer in the U.S. space program, Ross helped develop the Agena spacecraft for the Gemini and Apollo space programs.
Annually Changing Reverse Designs
Authorized under Public Law 110-82, introduced in 2009, and featuring annually changing reverses, the Native American $1 Coin Program commemorates the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. The series has featured these designs 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
- 2015 – Contributions of the Kahnawake Mohawk and Mohawk Akwesasne communities to "high iron" construction work
- 2016 – Contributions of the Native American Code Talkers in World War I and World War II
- 2017 – Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Syllabary
- 2018 – Sports legend Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox tribe
Common Obverse Design
Obverses of Native American $1 Coins share the same portrait of "Sacagawea," as designed by sculptor Glenna Goodacre. The familiar image has been around since the Sacagawea golden dollar debuted in 2000. Inscriptions around Sacagawea read LIBERTY and IN GOD WE TRUST.
An edge inscription indicates the year of issue, mint mark, and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Upcoming U.S. Mint Dollar Products
Dollar coins have not been released into circulation since 2011. The U.S. Mint produces them solely for its numismatic products found here.
Later this week, on Friday, Dec. 14, the U.S. Mint will introduce another multi-year dollar program. This one honors innovation and innovators. For more about the first dollar in this series and available products, read this article.
The first U.S. Mint products with 2019-dated dollars launch on Feb. 13, 2019. As an aside, the previously mentioned Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coins launch three weeks earlier on Jan. 24, 2019.