US Coins

CCAC taps designs for 2019 Innovation dollars

Proposed reverse designs for the four 2019 American Innovation dollars were reviewed and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee made its recommendations during a two-day meeting April 16 and 17.

The 2019 dollars will recognize a different significant innovation, innovator or group of innovators from four different states: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia.

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??For Delaware, the CCAC recommends a design that, according to the Mint, “features a silhouette of Annie Jump Cannon against the night sky, with a number of stars visible in the sky.” Born in Delaware in 1843, Cannon became an internationally renowned astronomer and invented a system for classifying the stars that is still in use today.

??The CCAC recommends a Pennsylvania design that, according to the Mint, “depicts an artist’s conception of the polio virus at three different levels of magnification along with the silhouette of a period microscope, representing the extensive research that was conducted to develop a cure for polio. The additional inscriptions are ‘Polio Vaccine’ and ‘1953.’?”

??The design the CCAC recommends for New Jersey illustrates, according to the Mint, “an Edison-style light bulb with a circular array of buildings oriented outward as if they were rays of light. This radial arrangement of the cityscape suggests the transformation and modernization of cities made possible by the introduction and development of electric light.” As the Mint narrative notes, Thomas Edison and his team developed a light bulb with a filament that could last 1,200 hours, marking the beginning of commercially manufactured light bulbs, giving people easy control over light in homes, allowing businesses to employ shift workers, and requiring a large power grid, creating jobs across the country.

??The CCAC pick for the Georgia dollar reverse, according to the Mint, “depicts a hand planting seeds in the inscription ‘Trustees’ Garden,’ from which grows a variety of species representing the variety of plants grown in the garden: an orange tree seedling, sassafras, grapes, white mulberry, flax, peaches, olive, and a young shoot too small to be identified.” In the early 1730s, James Oglethorpe established in Georgia the Trustees’ Garden, the first agricultural experimental garden in America.

About the program

Whatever reverse designs are chosen by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or his designee, each will be paired with the common obverse legislatively mandated for the 56-coin program. 

The Mint released an introductory American Innovation dollar coin in 2018 to kick off the program, bearing the common obverse. Designed by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Artist Justin Kunz and sculpted by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, it features a rendition of the Statue of Liberty.

The American Innovation $1 Coin Act, Public Law 115-197, calls for the production and release of American Innovation dollar coins at the rate of four per year in the order in which each of the 50 states ratified the Constitution of the United States or were admitted to the Union. Once a coin is issued for each state, coins will be released for the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories — Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

None of the dollar coins is being struck for release into general circulation. Coins are being struck in different finishes for inclusion in various collector sets and for sale in bags and rolls. 

No dollar coins have been struck in circulation quality for general distribution into commerce since the James A. Garfield Presidential dollar in 2011.

The reverse design for each American Innovation dollar coin is to recognize a significant innovation, an innovator, or a group of innovators from the state, District of Columbia or U.S. territory represented. 

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