US Coins

Native American dollars await Feb 13 sales launch

The U.S. Mint will launch sales of circulation-quality 2019 Native American dollars in bags and rolls at noon Eastern Time Feb. 13.

Although the coins are struck with a circulation-quality finish on high-speed presses at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, none of the coins will be released into general circulation through the Federal Reserve banks. The Mint continues to produce the Native American dollars for numismatic sales only.

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Production of dollar coins for general circulation has been suspended since December 2011, when then Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner issued a moratorium on their release, as Presidential dollars were piling up in Federal Reserve facilities. The 2011 James A. Garfield Presidential dollar was the last issue struck for and officially released into circulation.

Production of the Native American dollars was set at 20 percent of overall dollar production annually, then including the Presidential dollars. None of the Native American dollars have been struck for circulation.

On Feb. 13, the Mint will offer 25-coin rolls, 100-coin Mint-sewn canvas bags and 250-coin boxes containing 10 25-coin rolls from both the Denver Mint and the Philadelphia Mint. The rolls are offered at $32.95, the bags at $11.95 and the boxes at $275.95.

The Native American dollars are struck on coinage presses with a single pair of dies striking horizontally at the rate of 750 coins per minute.

The reverse of the 2019 Native American dollar was designed by Emily Damstra, a U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist, and sculptured by U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph F. Menna.

The design highlights the contributions of Native Americans to the U.S. Space Program. American Indians have been on the modern frontier of space flight since its infancy. American Indian contributions to the U.S. Space Program culminated in the three spacewalks of John Herrington (Chickasaw) on the International Space Station in 2002. These and other pioneering achievements date back to the work of Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee), one of the first female American Indian engineers. She helped develop the Agena spacecraft for the Gemini and Apollo Programs.

The design illustrates Mary Golda Ross writing calculations. Behind her, an Atlas-Agena rocket launches into space, with an equation inscribed in its exhaust cloud. An astronaut, symbolic of Native American astronauts including Herrington, spacewalks above. In the field behind, a group of stars indicates outer space.

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