Marking the first releases from the United States Mint this year are new coins celebrating American ingenuity. Debuting today at noon EST are 2023 Ohio American Innovation Dollars showcasing reverse (tails side) designs emblematic of the Underground Railroad.
The new dollars are available in uncirculated finish in 25-coin rolls or 100-coin bags. Each was produced at either the U.S. Mint’s facility in Philadelphia or Denver.
Design for the Ohio Innovation Dollar
A symbolic reorientation of the Underground Railroad graces the dollars’ reverses. The early to mid 1800s "railroad" served as a network for enslaved African Americans to escape to freedom.
"Ohio is proud to have this part of our history on the new $1 dollar coin. Ohio had many stops on the Underground Railroad, and today, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center near the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati tells the story of the flight to freedom," stated Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
"The United States Mint is honored to showcase Ohio’s pivotal role in the Underground Railroad network," commented U.S. Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. "The network of individuals, families, friends, and churches that covertly helped slaves escape to freedom was truly an innovation of human compassion and ingenuity."
Two hands grasped together are the focus of the design. The upper hand appears to be assisting the lower whose wrist is shackled with a fragmenting chain symbolizing the attainment of freedom. "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "UNDERGROUND RAILROAD," and "OHIO" inscriptions complete the design.
Coins of the series all bear the same basic obverse image of the Statue of Liberty along with the inscriptions of "IN GOD WE TRUST" and "$1" and a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation.
Edge-incused inscriptions show "2023," the mint mark, and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
American Innovation Coin Program
This dollar is the first of four for 2023 from the Mint’s American Innovation® $1 Coin Program. Upcoming 2023 dollars include the:
- Louisiana $1 Coin – Higgins Boat
- Indiana $1 Coin – Automobile industry
- Mississippi $1 Coin – First human lung transplant
The program itself had a single inaugural release in 2018. Since then, four new strikes have been issued annually with four more scheduled each year through 2032. Upon completed, an innovation from each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories will have been represented.
The new dollars are available by visiting the U.S. Mint’s online store for American Innovation products. The 25 coin rolls may be ordered for $34.50 with the 100-coin bags available for $117.50.
Initial household order limits of ten per product have been established.
I can’t for the life of me understand how the Mint could set a Household Order Limit as high as 10 for a product with such low availability numbers and have even the remotest expectation of this resulting in any sort of widespread, equitable distribution.
I have a feeling, one day these coins will go the way of the Franklin Half Dollar. There was a Franklin Half Dollar?
The two will almost have the same duration run. 16 years for the Franklin (1948-1963) and 15 years for the AI$ (2018-2032).
It’s sad. At least the Three Dollar Gold has some popularity.
The Three Dollar Gold is a fabulous coin, Antonio; who wouldn’t like it? On the other hand, every mini-dollar from the Susan B. Anthony on, including the Sacagawea/Native American, the U.S. Presidents, and now the American Innovation has been a no go as a circulating coin. Originally it was because they didn’t catch on with the public and now it’s due to the Federal Reserve refusing to even take any more from the Mint for national distribution. Of course there is one sure way to ensure that all those storehouses full of hundreds of millions of these dollar coins could… Read more »
Kaiser, I feel there are way too many different dollar coins (with different obverses and reverses) now for the public to ever have confidence that they are real money. It’s too bad IMO. If there was a single, powerful design like with the JFK half-dollar maybe it would stand a better shot at success as a circulating coin. But then again, when do you ever see a JFK half in circulation?
If any of these dollar coins could be used in vending machines or slot machines, there would be a long life for them. Looks like we chose from the start to make them useless.
You’re so right, Jeff, that the cards have always been stacked against the modern version of the “could have circulated” dollar coin.
Most people don’t want to carry around larger coins. Or coins which look too much alike, like the quarter and the SBA dollar.
Perhaps, Antonio, that’s not entirely a matter of convenience but equally so one of a desire to not have to pay attention.
Major D, you just hit upon what is likely the major factor keeping the dollar coin from supplanting the dollar bill, which happens to be size. However, I don’t at all mean this in the way in which it is ordinarily interpreted, which is to say that the dollar coin is too small. Quite to the contrary, the dollar coin is a handy pocket size; it is the interpretation of what a dollar coin should look and feel like that is the problem. The traditional cartwheel size of the silver dollar is a holdover from the past when dollars were… Read more »
And Americans aren’t like Canadians. When Canada introduced a smaller, circulating dollar (the Loon), they retired the one dollar bill. Same when they introduced the two dollar coin, retiring the two dollar bill.
Bingo, Antonio. Sometimes change is difficult but necessary.
Well, yes and no, Major D. A “run” used to mean the period of time a particular coin was in circulation; now it apparently refers equally so to the number of years the Mint produces it regardless whether or not a single example of its total population is ever spotted in public use.
That’s just the phrasing I used, Kaiser- I didn’t realize that there was some numismatic definition. But I now stand edified. Out of curiosity, what would you say is the duration run of the Franklin half-dollar?
Now that I look back at what I said, Major D, I realize that I originally expressed myself very poorly and in point of fact incorrectly. What I really meant to say was that a coin’s “run” is the number of years the Mint produces the coin AND puts it into circulation. In other words, if a coin is minted but never circulated among the public then for all practical purposes it has no run.
At least the Franklin Half Dollar was an actually circulating coin, Antonio, and not a bad looking one at that. As far as I can tell, these “gold” mini-dollars are of very little significance no matter what is depicted on them. In fact, the only reason I even brought up the high HOL for this one was to bring attention to the oft times inexplicable “weirding ways” (thanks, Dune) of our glorious Mint.
I beg to differ, the Mint shouldn’t have retired the Walking Liberty half dollar. There was no reason for it. The Mint, in a manner, relented by rendering the obverse of the ASE with the obverse design of that half dollar. They should have used the reverse as well. They did that with the Buffalo Gold coin. I think it’s one of the more beautiful gold coins produced by our Mint.
I would agree with you, Antonio. The Native American (Indian) profile on the Buffalo Nickel, later used on the Gold Buffalo, was designed by James Earle Fraser from a combination of three images of Native American Chiefs: Iron Tail (Lakota), Two Moons (Cheyenne) and John Big Tree (Seneca). The buffalo (bison) on the reverse side is a male North American bison which James Earle Fraser always said that the model for his buffalo was Black Diamond, a huge bison from the Bronx Zoo (or was it the Central Park Zoo).
You’ll get no argument from me in regard to that, Antonio. As I have said here before it’s my humble opinion that the Walking Liberty Half Dollar represents the artistic pinnacle of the U.S. Mint’s coin production.
Not to worry, Kaiser. I’d bet there are more of these AI$s than there are folks that want them. I expect these coins will still be available for much of the year. Like with the other AI$ releases, the Mint will likely not make available the entire product limit on release day- rather, they will let it sell until the initial quantities are longer available, then add a bunch more later in the year. What will really be telling is next Sunday’s sales report, together with the available quantities on the morning after.
I think you hit that nail right on the head, Major D. This might just be one of those Mint curiosities that stirs temporary interest before gradually fading into numismatic oblivion. I know I haven’t bought any rolls of them, although I must confess I did pick up a couple of the AI Sets at the beginning of the series when they were still a shiny novelty.
Yes, a “shiny novelty” is a good way to put it.
As I recall, at one time it was required a coin design last a minimum 25 years. The Franklin half was only discontinued early because of a special Act to replace it in memory of Kennedy.
Tom, that’s interesting to hear. The Eisenhower dollar (1971-1978) and the Susan B. Anthony dollar (1979-1981 + 1999) didn’t last that long. In a way, I’m surprised that the Kennedy half has lasted given our country’s divisive politics. I don’t believe there’s a person alive today who would get a coin designed for them in a special act like that in memoriam (separate from the presidential dollars which will honor every president after death).
I don’t see divisiveness as such in America. What I perceive is on the one hand a solid core of 60% of the population quite happy and content with the state of our great nation and on the other an increasingly troubled and discontented 40% who for whatever thoroughly misguided motivation, purpose or intent are especially keen on bringing endless disruption, unrest and grief to the peaceful majority.
I foolishly bought a roll each of the P and D George H.W. Bush dollars. They may be worth something SOME DAY. Like the Howard Taft and Warren Harding dollars.
I did a little research. The Mint Act of Sept 26, 1890 1890 September 26: The Act of September 26, 1890, amends Revised Statute 3510, by authorizing a procedure for new coin designs generally known today as “the 25-year law”. A portion of the legislation states that “no change in the design or die of any coin shall be made oftener that once in twenty-five years from and including the year of the first adoption of the design, model, die, or hub for the same coin.” Another legislative Act, approved the same day, discontinues the three dollar gold, one-dollar gold, and three-cent… Read more »
The Walking Liberty Half Dollar was 1916 – 1947. Apparently, Congress reserves the right to abrogate that Mint Act, or it’s been superseded by a subsequent Act passed by Congress.
I guess it doesn’t apply to the Washington quarter. Less than 25 years between the Bicentennial Design in 1976 and the States series (1999-2009), then no separation into the ATB series (2010-2021), Washington Crossing the Delaware (2021), and now the AWQ series (2022-2025). In addition, the Lincoln cent had the Bicentennial series in 2009, then the Shield cent starting in 2010. Oh, and the Sacagawea dollar (2000-2008) became the Native American dollar ten years later starting in 2009.
It was not ’25 years and done’ but rather at least 25 years, so the Walking Half met that. Without researching further the mint simply appears to have decided to issue special commemorative series, I think to match what other countries do, hence the quarter series, the special pennies and nickels, etc. e.g. Canada did a Province series in 1992 on the quarter.
I understand you didn’t mean ’25 years and done’ (think that comment was meant for Antonio) but rather pointing out the incongruities in that there were design changes to the Washington quarter, Lincoln cent and Sacagawea/N.A. circulating coins within 25 years- so I have to agree with Antonio that the “25-year law” has been rescinded or replaced by Congress in each case. The design changes to all of those circulating coins were a result of enabling legislation that was signed into law. The modern commemorative series and bullion series have special laws dealing with those programs apart from any circulating… Read more »
Major D, Tom and Antonio,
Many thanks to all of you for the above posted extremely erudite comments which comprise a discussion whose wealth of information amounts to a very enlightening coin tutorial.
The education system up north is lacking. It’s not an underground railroad, it’s a subway. Even new Yorkers got that right.
This National Geographic article doesn’t even imply railroad or subway this is just the first paragraph, read on at the website During the era of slavery, the Underground Railroad was a network of routes, places, and people that helped enslaved people in the American South escape to the North. The name “Underground Railroad” was used metaphorically, not literally. It was not an actual railroad, but it served the same purpose—it transported people long distances. It also did not run underground, but through homes, barns, churches, and businesses. The people who worked for the Underground Railroad had a passion for justice and drive to end the practice of slavery—a… Read more »
Was doing an edit but timed out before you replied. I’m fully aware of history. And I realize that perspective changes based on where it is taught. Luckily I’ve lived in many states and attended many schools and have worked with people from all over to get different insight. But below is the edited version I was working on while you were commenting. The education system up north is lacking. It’s not an underground railroad, it’s a subway. Even New Yorkers got that right. Here come the encyclopedias foaming at the mouth to point out that new York is in… Read more »
I don’t know if the above use of the word “autopsy” instead of the clearly intended “autopay” was a mistake or intentional but either way I loved it! And it goes fittingly with purchasing “guns and ammo” since whether or not they’ve been “auto-paid” for there’s a good chance there will be “autopsies”. By the way, Russian refugees have been pouring into the U.S. in ever increasing numbers for years now; in fact, in my neck of the woods we have entire colonies of them. You can always tell when you’ve had an encounter because they’re the only folks who… Read more »
Reminds me of The Terminator, “Get out of my way!”
Thank you very much for this clarification. I’ve always felt it’s that way myself.
Sorry to discuss AWQ 3 roll sets but you can adjust your subscription limit (1 to 3) at this time, right now, if you have an enrollment. Good luck, we are coin collectors and I hope this helps.
Allan, that’s a good reminder particularly because the Mint did not reset my subscription number back to 3 after it decreased it to 1 for the Anna May Wong PDS set- I had to adjust the number back to 3 myself.
As for coin collecting, I do wish that would be the focus. Unfortunately, some like to use this site to spout all manner of manic, unhinged divisive drivel (talking about you Half Cent) and unfortunately some of our colleagues here like to facilitate it with their responses.
Major D and Allan,
It’s not just interesting but exciting that the San Francisco Roll of the American Women Quarters 3 Roll Sets have clearly become the current and ongoing “Holy Grail” of Mint coin products. After all, what better way possible could there be to both encourage and extravagantly amplify the sales popularity of this product line.
Received the innovation rolls today, fastest I ever received a mint item.
oooohhhh. Can I run down and get then graded ‘early release’ and try and sell them for 10 times their actual worth?
You’re free to do so. That’s what the “preferred” dealers are doing as we write.
let’s see. you can get from the Mint for 34.50 (and free shipping if you subscribe, or get from e-bay for over $50 plus shipping. I like the one charging 59.12 which is a 7% discount off the reg price. way to go.
yesterday 386 25 coin roll (P), today 251, so those appear to be going somewhat fast.
Legally speaking, Tom, as long as you don’t misrepresent what they are you can charge whatever you want for those AI Dollars; the real question is whether or not anyone will be willing to pay what you’re asking.
The United States Mint Announced the 2024 American Women Quarters™ Program Honorees today. They are Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War era surgeon, women’s rights advocate, and an abolitionist; Pauli Murray, a poet, writer, activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest, as well as a staunch advocate for civil rights, fighting against racial and sex discrimination, and a founder of NOW; Zitkala-Ša (meaning “Red Bird”), also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, a writer, composer, educator, and political activist for Native Americans’ right to United States citizenship and other civil rights; and… Read more »
What a fantastic lineup, Antonio. It looks like we’ll have something very special to look forward to from the Mint at least for the next few years now! 🙂
We’ll have to wait to see what they look like later this year. I think the last one issued this year looks interesting, different from what we’re used to for sure.
That’s an absolutely brilliant original design. Kudos to the artist(s)!
Do you think some kid at the cash register will know what to do with it? I’ve gotten the reaction, “Is it real?”, when I gave a half dollar or dollar coin to pay for my merchandise.
I suppose, Antonio, that since unlike us in our own much earlier youthful days they have lived their entire young lives likely never before having encountered either one of those coin denominations it shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise that they’re not quite sure what to make of them.
Like with a record player or typewriter.