Sep 23, 2009

Dollar Coins

Did you ever wonder who the heck Sacagawea (sacka ja we a) was and what her babie's name was. The Shoshone woman, Sacagawea, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is shown on the coin carrying her son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, who was later nicknamed Pomp. She was a slave girl, given to Toussaint Charbonneau, a French trader born in Montreal. She was six months pregnant when she joined the expedition.

The new 2009 Sacagawea dollar, along with the Presidential Dollar series, is one of the two current United States dollar coins.

The coins are made from pure copper with a manganese brass outer clad. Unlike most other coins in circulation, the outer alloy has a tendency to tarnish quite severely in circulation, resulting in a loss of the golden patina. The Mint suggests the uneven tarnishing effect gives the the coins an antique finish that accentuates the profile and adds depth to the depiction of Sacagawea and her child.

Four designs will be minted, each for one year from 2009 to 2012. The first Native American series coin was released in January 2009 and has a reverse that depicts a Native American woman sowing seeds of the Three Sisters, symbolizing the Indian tribes' contributions to agriculture. Like the Presidential Dollar, the year of issue, mint mark, and motto E Pluribus Unum have been moved to the edge of the coin to allow more room for the design.

Unlike the Presidential $1 coins from before 2009, "In God We Trust" will remain on the front and the vacant space on the edge lettering will be taken up by thirteen stars, symbolizing the Thirteen Colonies.

The chief stumbling-block to the success of the golden dollar is the continued presence of the $1 bill. The lesson demonstrated by the Susan B. Anthony, experience, and learned by all countries that have introduced a high-denomination coin since 1979, is that the equivalent paper note must be removed from circulation. The only country not to learn that lesson is the United States

Although the Sacagawea dollar is not widespread in the United States, it is very popular in Ecuador and other foreign countries that have made the US dollar their currency. An estimated 500 million coins, approximately half of those minted, are used in Ecuador, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries