US Coins

2018 Native American dollar celebrates Jim Thorpe

The U.S. Mint began accepting orders Feb. 15 for numismatic products containing bags, rolls and boxes of circulation-quality 2018 Native American dollars.

For bag, roll and box sales, products containing coins struck at the Denver Mint are offered separately from products containing coins from the Philadelphia Mint.

Native American dollars are still being struck in circulation quality at the two facilities, but neither product is released from the Mint for general circulation.

Circulation distribution ended in December 2011 when Timothy F. Geithner, Treasury Secretary at the time, indefinitely suspended their release into circulation because dollar coins were being stockpiled in Federal Reserve vaults.

The 2018 numismatic products being offered are 100-coin bags from either Mint for $111.95 per bag; 250-coin boxes for $275.95; and 25-coin rolls for $32.95 per roll.

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The coins will be also struck with a satiny finish for inclusion in annual Uncirculated Mint sets that will go on sale sometime this spring.

The San Francisco Mint is striking the coins with a Proof finish for inclusion in the 2018-S Proof set (March 6), Silver Proof set (spring 2018) and other special collector sets slated for later in the calendar year.

The reverse of the 2018 Native American dollar was designed and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

Gaudioso’s design depicts a portrait of Native American athlete and Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe along with renditions of Thorpe playing football and participating in track and field events for the pentathlon and decathlon in the 1912 Olympics, for which he won gold medals.

A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for his home country.

In 1913, the Amateur Athletic Union withdrew Thorpe’s amateur status retroactively, after it was learned that Thorpe was paid to play baseball professionally in 1909 and 1910.

Thorpe was subsequently stripped of his Olympic gold medals by the International Olympic Committee, being declared a professional athlete.

Thorpe went on to continue playing professional baseball for a number of years, starting with the New York Giants.

Thorpe struggled throughout the remainder of his life trying to maintain non-sports-related employment.

Thorpe died of heart failure on March 28, 1953, at age 65. 

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