US Coins

Mint reveals designs for 2021 American Innovation dollars

The New Hampshire dollar reverse recognizes Ralph Baer and his creation of the first home video game console.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Approved designs for the 2021 American Innovation dollars, bearing reverses representing New Hampshire, Virginia, New York and North Carolina, were released April 7 by the United States Mint.

Bags and rolls of the first of four 2021 American Innovation dollars struck in circulation quality are scheduled to be offered for sale as numismatic products on June 8 by the Mint.

The American Innovation, New Hampshire dollar will be the first release. Specific release dates are not yet announced for the other three 2021 American Innovation dollars.

The New Hampshire dollar reverse recognizes Ralph Baer and his creation of the first in-home video game console.

The design depicts Baer’s brown box game “Handball” on the right side of the coin. The left side of the coin features NEW HAMPSHIRE and PLAYER 1 on an incuse background. IN-HOME VIDEO GAME SYSTEM and RALPH BAER encircle the outside of the coin in a text that is meant to pay homage to Ralph Baer’s Odyssey game. The design of the coin is also symbolic of an arcade token.

The design was created by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Artist Christina Hess and sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist Eric David Custer.


AIP artist Matt Swaim designed the American Innovation, Virginia dollar reverse which was sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist John P. McGraw.

The design recognizes the engineering marvel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The design depicts a view of the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel as a cross section cut-away, illustrating the ingenuity involved in constructing it.

New York

The New York dollar was designed by AIP Artist Ronald D. Sanders and sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.

The New York dollar design pays tribute to the Erie Canal. The design depicts a packet boat being pulled from a city in the East toward the country areas to the West.

North Carolina

Sanders designed the North Carolina dollar reverse, which was sculpted by Mint chief engraver Joseph F. Menna.

The design acknowledges the first public institution of higher learning in the United States. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened its doors in 1795 and was the only public institution to confer degrees in the 18th century.

The design features a stack of three textbooks with FIRST PUBLIC UNIVERSITY on the spine of the middle book. A lamp of knowledge is perched atop the books, and olive branches curve around the edge of the design.

Common obverse

The reverse designs will be paired with the common obverse depicting the Statue of Liberty.

The design also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation. The gear detail is adapted from the reverse of the introductory 2018 American Innovation dollar.

The common obverse design with privy mark for the series starting in 2019 was created by AIP artist Justin Kunz and sculpted by Hemphill.

Rolls and bags

The American Innovation dollars will be offered in 25-coin rolls and 100-coin canvas mini-bags from production at either the Denver Mint or the Philadelphia Mint.

The rolls will be offered at $34.95 per roll and the 100-coin bags at $117.95.

Although struck with a circulation quality finish, none of the dollar coins in the American Innovation Dollar Program will be released by officials for general circulation.

The last dollar coin to be issued into general circulation was the 2011 James A Garfield, Presidential dollar.

On Dec. 13, 2011, then Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner issued a directive prohibiting officially adding any further dollar coins into commerce channels, because a glut of dollar coins held by the Federal Reserve filled contracted armored carrier vaults.

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