From Susan B. Anthony to Sacagawea: we can trace these Feminine Icons Through the reflection of their proud history in the shine of coins minted by the Denver’s Mint, and in their honor.

The history of U.S. dollar coins since 1990 includes several series designed to improve the utility of dollar coins in commerce, honor American history, and make the coins more distinctive and attractive to the public. Here’s an overview of the key developments and series introduced:

1. The Susan B. Anthony Dollar (1979-1981, 1999)
– While the Susan B. Anthony dollar was not introduced after 1990, it’s worth noting its final minting year in 1999. This came about due to the need for a more usable dollar coin in commerce, highlighting the transition to new designs.

2. The Sacagawea Dollar (2000-present): The Sacagawea Golden Dollar was introduced in 2000 as a replacement for the Susan B. Anthony dollar. It featured a new alloy giving it a distinctive golden color, aimed at avoiding confusion with the quarter.
– **Design**: The obverse features Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, holding her son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. The reverse originally depicted an eagle in flight (2000-2008).
– **Native American Series (2009-present)**: Starting in 2009, the reverse of the coin began to feature designs commemorating the contributions of Native Americans to the history and culture of the United States. The designs change annually.

3. **Presidential $1 Coin Program (2007-2016)
– Introduction: This program featured coins honoring each deceased U.S. President in the order that they served. The program aimed to educate the public about presidential history and increase interest in dollar coins.
– Design: The obverse of each coin features a portrait of a president, while the reverse design features the Statue of Liberty. These coins also introduced edge-incused inscriptions, including the year of minting, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and the mint mark.
– Distribution Changes: Due to a large stockpile of unused dollar coins, the U.S. Treasury Department stopped the mass production of these coins for circulation in 2011. Afterward, they were only produced for collectors.

4. American Innovation $1 Coin Program (2018-2032)
– Introduction: This program, starting in 2018 and planned to run through 2032, is designed to honor significant innovations and pioneering efforts of individuals or groups from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.
– Design: The obverse features a likeness of the Statue of Liberty, representing American innovation and the pioneering spirit. The reverse features designs symbolic of a significant innovation, an innovator, or a group of innovators from each state and territory. The edge of the coins is incused with the year of minting, mint mark, and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Common Features and Changes
– Edge Lettering: Starting with the Presidential $1 Coin Program, U.S. dollar coins included distinctive edge lettering as a feature, marking a departure from the smooth or reeded edges of previous series.
– Material: The composition remained consistent with the manganese-brass clad introduced with the Sacagawea dollar, giving these coins their distinctive golden color.

The Edge Imprint “D” Means “Denver Mint” for this Dollar.

These series reflect a shift in the U.S. Mint’s approach to dollar coins, focusing on collectability and educational value alongside their role in commerce. Despite these efforts, dollar coins have not fully replaced dollar bills in circulation, largely due to public preference and the continued production of paper currency.

  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.