Coin Collecting - Sacagawea Dollar

The Sacagawea Dollar ("Golden Dollar") appeared in 2000, although it was only released for general circulation during its first two years (2000 and 2001) and from 2009 to 2011. At all other times it has been available only to collectors. The coin replaced the Susan B. Anthony Dollar and honors the famous Shoshone guide of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.


The design on the obverse side was created by Glenna Goodacre and depicts Sacagawea with her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Since there are no contemporary portraits of Sacagawea, the image cannot be considered historically accurate, but rather representational of the person.

The original reverse of the coin depicts a bald eagle in flight by Thomas D. Rodgers. Since 2009, however, the reverse design has been changed every year, with images celebrating the contributions made by Native Americans to the development of the United States. The motto, "E Pluribus Unum," which had been on the reverse was transferred to the edge of the coin and the denomination, original expressed in words ("ONE DOLLAR"), was simplified to read "$1." The program of new reverse designs is scheduled to conclude in 2016.


Mint marks are P for Philadelphia, D for Denver, and S for San Francisco. Originally the mint mark appeared on the obverse side below the date, but in 2009 the date and mint mark were moved to the edge of the coin, along with the motto from the reverse side (see above).


The coin consists of a copper core clad with manganese brass (copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel) imparting a gold coloration. From the coin's release until 2008 the edge of the coin was plain (smooth) and, after that, it was lettered (see above).