US Coins

Sacagawea dollar with Presidential dollar edge in auction

A 2007-D Sacagawea dollar with Presidential dollar edge lettering rather than a plain edge will be offered for sale July 15 by GreatCollections.

The coin is the same piece that Professional Coin Grading Service recognized as the first-known example in 2007. PCGS paid a $10,000 bounty to the dollar coin’s finder for the privilege of certifying it.

The coin, encapsulated and graded Mint State 63 by PCGS, is so far still the only known example bearing the edge lettering intended strictly for Presidential dollars.

The 2007-D Sacagawea dollar should have borne a plain edge, but instead it bears the Presidential dollar inscription of date, Mint mark, and mottoes E PLURIBUS UNUM and IN GOD WE TRUST. All edge elements appear incuse.

Adding the edge inscription for Presidential dollars is a separate step that is performed after the coin is struck. Since Sacagawea and Presidential dollars are struck on the same planchets and on the same presses, a wayward Sacagawea dollar could easily have become mixed in with the Presidential coins and transported to the edge inscription station.

Coins of differing designs can become comingled in several ways. For example, a Denver Mint employee could have found the coin lying on the press-room floor, picked it up and tossed it in with the look-alike Presidential dollars awaiting transport to the edge inscription station.

Found in pocket change

The 2007-D Sacagawea dollar with Presidential dollar edge lettering was discovered in pocket change by Colorado collector Andrew Moores in early November 2007. Moores indicated he likely carried the coin in his pocket for two weeks before a friend alerted him to the PCGS U.S. Coins Message Boards where collectors were discussing PCGS’s reward.

Grading service officials announced Moores’ find in a Nov. 15, 2007, press release.

Moores received his $10,000 reward and was able to keep the discovery piece.

GreatCollections President Ian Russell declined to disclose the consignor of the coin to the July 15 auction.

The coin is being offered without reserve by the auction house (

The 2007-D error coin was likely struck in circulation quality for numismatic sales, since 2001 was the last year that Sacagawea dollars were struck for circulation.

Once it became mixed in with the Presidential dollars and received the edge inscription, the 2007-D Sacagawea dollar error could have entered circulation along with the Presidential dollars.

The Denver Mint began striking 2007-D Sacagawea dollars on Feb. 12. The Philadelphia Mint followed a week later with 2007-P Sacagawea dollar output.

Both coin production facilities began striking 2007 John Adams Presidential dollars on Feb. 26.

The timing of the strikes suggests that the error Sacagawea dollar was edge lettered and released into circulation along with the John Adams dollars.

No more circulation-quality 2007 Sacagawea dollars were produced after February at any Mint facility.

Production of the original Sacagawea dollar ended in 2008. The Sacagawea dollar obverse was retained for the Native American dollar series, which premiered in 2009. The Native American dollars bear the same edge inscription as the Presidential dollars of the same dates, though the current inscription (used since 2009 for both series) differs somewhat from that used in 2007.

Two different production cycles

While 2007 Sacagawea and Presidential dollars were struck on the same presses, some differences did occur in their production.

Sacagawea dollars were struck with a plain edge in a continuous closed-loop production process that ended with the coins being transported to the counting and bagging equipment.

The Presidential dollar series, which debuted Feb. 15, 2007, used the same system through the actual striking step, but then were manually transferred in coin hoppers to be loaded into separate machinery to impart the edge lettering. After completion of that step, the coins were taken to the counting and bagging station.

When Washington dollars began showing up in circulation in large numbers without edge lettering, some people dubbed the coins “Godless dollars” because they lacked the motto IN GOD WE TRUST, which was part of the edge inscription. Under congressional order, the U.S. Mint moved IN GOD WE TRUST from the edge of the Presidential dollar to the coin’s obverse, and filled the edge void with 13 five-pointed stars.

In an effort to minimize the production of plain edge Presidential dollars, in 2008 the U.S. Mint integrated the edge-lettering equipment into a continuous operation for Presidential dollar production.

Still, errors involving edge inscriptions on dollar coins continue. A Zachary Taylor Presidential dollar of 2009 with a 2010-D edge inscription has been certified. It was reportedly found in a roll of 2010-D Native American dollars. ¦

Community Comments