US Coins

Alaska release of 2020 Native American dollar coin still in planning stages

The number of 2020 Native American dollars the U.S. Mint provides for Alaska, for release into circulation there, will likely be considerably fewer than the 5 million sought by one state legislator.

Logistics are still being worked out between U.S. Mint and state representatives.

The reverse of the 2020 Native American dollar pays tribute to Elizabeth Peratrovich, a native Alaskan civil rights activist who was instrumental in the state legislature’s passage in 1945 of anti-discrimination legislation.

Delena Johnson, a current member of the Alaska State Legislature, secured passage Jan. 22 of the House Joint Resolution she sponsored to acquire the dollar coins for general circulation.

The measure was signed Feb. 11 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and forwarded to the U.S. Mint for action.

Latest action

An aide to Johnson said she’s been in contact with Mint officials with the assistance of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The aide told Coin World April 27 that the Mint will not be shipping 5 million coins through the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Seattle Branch as once anticipated. Instead, customers of banks being recruited in the state to participate in the distribution will have to place orders for the coins, and will then receive them at face value.

The United States Mint has not struck any dollar coins for general circulation since December 2011. Since then, all dollar coin production — in the Presidential, Native American and American Innovation programs — is directed to the Mint’s sales offerings of numismatic products, priced at premiums.

Any dollar coins of those types dated 2012 or later found in circulation were presumably placed there by collectors or dealers who bought them from the Mint. They were not placed into circulation by the Federal Reserve through member banks or other institutions.

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