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HomeUS Coins2019-P Native American Dollar - Mary Golda Ross : A Collector's Guide

2019-P Native American Dollar – Mary Golda Ross : A Collector’s Guide

2019 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.
2019 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

Each year since 2009, the United States Mint has unveiled a new reverse design for the Sacagawea Dollar. This program, authorized by the Native American $1 Coin Act (PDF link), honors the many contributions that Native Americans have made throughout United States history. The Act also mandated that each year, the Sacagawea/Native American Dollar would have a mintage equivalent to 20% of the annual small dollar coinage.

In 2019, the U.S. Mint marked the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with concave-shaped gold, silver, and clad commemorative coins. To build on the enthusiasm of these space coin releases, the Mint chose to honor the contributions of American Indians in space on the 2019 Native American Dollar.

Several people are featured on the coin, including Mary Golda Ross; a space-walking astronaut representative of astronauts like John Herrington; a member of the Chickasaw Nation who served as a Mission Specialist on STS-113, a mission wherein Space Shuttle Endeavor rendezvoused with the International Space Station in November 2002.

Mary Golda Ross was born on August 9, 1908, in Park Hill, Oklahoma. She was the great-granddaughter of Cherokee Chief John Ross, a key leader of the Cherokee people following the Trail of Tears. Educated in mathematics and engineering, Mary Golda Ross was a pioneering figure in engineering, serving as the first female engineer ever employed by Lockheed Corporation. In 1952, she joined their Advanced Development Program and contributed designs for interplanetary craft, satellites, and vehicles that remain classified today.

Ross’s team worked at the Atlas-Agena rocket, which took astronauts into Earth’s orbit during the Gemini missions. She also worked to develop the Poseidon and Trident missile systems.

Ross also made key contributions to NASA’s Planetary Flight Handbook, Vol. 3 (PDF link), which provided tables and contour charts related to planet orbits, trajectory data, and other information necessary for space flight. Mary Golda Ross died on April 29, 2008, at the age of 99.

What Is the 2019-P Native American Dollar Worth?

The United States Mint began accepting orders for the 2019-P Native American Dollar honoring Mary Golda Ross at noon on February 13, 2019. Philadelphia Mint coins could be ordered in 25-coin rolls, 100-coin bags, or 250-coin (10-roll) boxes. The Mint applied a modest surcharge of 31.8¢ per coin for single rolls, which was reduced to just over 10¢ per coin for the larger coin product offerings.

United States 2019 Native American $1 Coin product options. Info courtesy US Mint

In addition, the United States Mint produced Enhanced versions of the 2019-P Native American Dollar, released on July 24, as part of a special Native American $1 Coin & $1 Note Set. These sets included a Series 2017 Federal Reserve Note from one of the 12 Federal Reserve Bank locations across the United States, with a serial number starting with “1959,” corresponding with the Agena spacecraft launch year depicted on the reverse of the $1 coin. These sets were limited to 50,000 units, and the Mint reported sales of 46,964. These Enhanced versions are worth more than the Business Strikes, and many have been certified in perfect “70” grade.

The 2019 Native American $1 Coin & $1 Note Set.
The 2019 Native American $1 Coin & $1 Note Set.

The Native American $1 Coin & $1 Note Set can be purchased on eBay in its original government packaging for between $20 and $30. Specimen-70 examples of the included dollar coin graded by NGC and PCGS routinely sell for $30 and up. On the insert, PCGS will describe the edge inscription orientation as either Position A or Position B. NGC and CAC do not.

As for the Business Strike examples, the 2019-P Native American dollar was struck only for the collector market. None were issued for circulation, and examples of the date will have been placed into commercial channels only at the whims of their owners, or perhaps coin dealers as part of a promotion.

The coin can be purchased in bags or rolls on the secondary market, and a collector, if patient, may snag one at a good price. Singles of the date are routinely offered for about $3 per coin.

Certified examples will sell for more, but the terminal point for this issue appears to be MS67 for a bulk submission, which means that very few examples will find their way into CAC, NGC, or PCGS unless the coin’s value goes up.

All “golden” dollar coins will tarnish when exposed to the environment, and these coins can tone in certified holders. Proper storage is recommended.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

2019-P Native American Dollar – Business Strike

Top Population: PCGS MS68 (1, 4/2024), NGC MS70* (1,821, 4/2024), and CAC None Graded (0, 4/2024).

The NGC census report combines Enhanced Finish versions of the 2019-P Native American dollar.

  • NGC MS67 #5757583-008: eBay, April 6, 2024 – $25.95.

 

2019-P Native American Dollar – Enhanced Uncirculated

Top Population: PCGS SP70 (1143, 4/2024), NGC MS70* (1821, 4/2024), and CAC None Graded (0, 4/2024).

The NGC census report combines Enhanced Finish versions of the 2019-P Native American dollar.

  • PCGS SP70 #37511874: eBay, April 14, 2024 – $99. First Strike insert. Position A.
  • PCGS SP70 #37511897: eBay, April 14, 2024 – $99. First Strike insert. Position B.
  • NGC SP70 #5760933-123: eBay, March 31, 2024 – $27. First Day of Issue. Native American novelty insert.
  • PCGS SP70 #38112310: eBay, March 24, 2024 – $39.75. First Strike insert. Position A.
  • PCGS SP70 #38499164: eBay, March 21, 2024 – $34.99. Position A.
  • NGC SP70 #5760947-030: eBay, February 4, 2024 – $29.95. Early Releases. Native American novelty insert.

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Design

Obverse:

The obverse design of the golden dollar portrays Sacagawea, a member of the Lemhi Shoshone tribe who acted as the guide for the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805-06. While her bust is facing right in a classic three-quarter profile, Sacagawea looks directly at the viewer and carries her infant son, Jean-Baptiste, on her back. Since the design guidelines requested that all submissions “be sensitive to cultural authenticity and try to avoid creating a representation of a classical European face in Native American headdress,” Sacagawea is depicted in a naturalistic style. Designer Glenna Goodacre used a modern-day Shoshone woman named Randy’L He-dow Teton as her model.

Above Sacagawea’s head is the legend LIBERTY; in the left-hand field is the national motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The designer’s initials (G.G) can be seen on the infant’s swaddling cloth at the bottom of the design.

Reverse:

Mary Golda Ross is positioned to the left in the foreground. She is writing calculations. Behind her, an Atlas-Agena rocket launches into space, leaving billowy clouds of smoke near the surface. On top of that cloud is the following mathematical equation: v2 = V2 – 2µ/r. Gripping onto the inner border is an astronaut, symbolic of Native American astronauts, performing a space walk. A constellation of stars appears in the field. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA wraps around the top of the design, while the denomination, inscribed as $1, is positioned inside the inner border at 3 o’clock, the bottom of the numeral obscured by smoke. Emily S. Damstra’s designer initials, “ESD”, are located just behind Ross’ back.

Edge:

The edge of the 2019 Native American Dollar features the date 2019, the mintmark P, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM, with stars separating each of the three inscriptions.

Designers

The Sacagawea obverse was designed by sculptor Glenna Goodacre. When Goodacre passed away at the age of 80 in 2020, she was widely acknowledged as a highly skilled artist. Before her 1999 design for the Sacagawea dollar, Goodacre was known for creating the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the Irish Memorial in Philadelphia.

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 2019
Denomination: One Dollar (USD)
Mintmark: P (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 1,400,000; 46,964 for the Enhanced Version.
Alloy: 88.5% Copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese, and 2% Nickel
Weight: 8.1 g
Diameter: 26.5 mm
Edge: Lettered: 2019, P, E PLURIBUS UNUM
OBV Designer: Glenna Goodacre
REV Designer: Emily S. Damstra
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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