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United States Mint 2016 Gerald R. Ford Presidential $1 Coin, obverse

Description:

The Presidential Dollar Coin Act (Public Law 109-145) was passed into law on December 22, 2005. The Act compelled the Secretary of the Treasury to “mint coins in commemoration of each of the Nation’s past presidents and their spouses, respectively, to improve circulation of the $1 coin, [and] to create a new bullion coin”. The architects of the law, citing the success of the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program (31 U.S.C. 5112(l)), believed that the introduction of regularly changing designs would radically increase demand for a $1 coin, which despite early signs of consumer interest, had failed to achieve widespread use after its debut in 2000.

The first four Presidential dollar designs debuted in 2007, and like the Sacagawea dollar that preceded them, the coins found little public support in commerce. In 2011, the United States Mint curtailed the production of the Presidential (and Native American) dollar coins and began to strike them solely for the purpose of selling them to collectors.

The Gerald R. Ford $1 coin is the second of three issues to be released in 2016 and the 38th issue of the 39-issue series.

Obverse:

Phebe Hemphill designed the obverse, which features a slightly off-center front-facing portrait of the late president Ford. Her initials are located on Ford’s left shoulder.

GERALD R. FORD is inscribed above the portrait; the national motto IN GOD WE TRUST, along with 38th PRESIDENT and the dates 1974-1977 arc along the bottom of the coin.

Reverse:

Don Everhart’s reverse design features an ant’s-eye view of the Statue of Liberty offset to the left. On the coin, Liberty occupies bottom right quadrant of the coin, her extended elbow being the coin’s center point. The design is framed by a thin inner circle, which separates the graphic design from the coin’s legend, which reads: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Beneath Liberty’s extended torch-bearing arm is the denomination $1. This is the common reverse design for all Presidential Series $1 coins.

Edge:

The edge of the coin is smooth, not reeded, and features several inscriptions moved there by law to ensure adequate space on the obverse of the coin for the national motto IN GOD WE TRUST. Edge lettering includes the phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM, the date 2016 and the mint mark (P or D).

Designer(s): Designer Phebe Hemphill joined the U.S. Mint in 2006, and since that time has become one of the nation’s most prolific coin designers (View Designer’s Profile). Don Everhart joined the United States Mint sculpting and engraving department in 2004, after a long and successful career as a sculptor and designer of medals (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications:

Country:  USA
Year Of Issue:  2016
Denomination:  1 Dollar
Mint Mark:  P, D & S (Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco)
Mintage:
Alloy:  88.5% copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese, 2% Nickel
Weight:  8.100 grams
Diameter:  1.043 in. (26.49 mm)
Edge:  Lettered
OBV Designer  Phebe Hemphill
REV Designer  Don Everhart
Quality:  Uncirculated & Proof

Keep up with all the latest coin releases from the United States Mint by clicking on CoinWeek’s Modern U.S. Coin Profiles Page.
 


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1 COMMENT

  1. To correct one point: the inscriptions originally (2007-2008) appearing on the edge _included_ the motto “In God We Trust”. The original decision to move the date, mint mark, and both mottoes was made solely to provide a larger “canvas” for the design’s artistic elements.

    That decision, combined with the accidental striking of Washington dollars without any form of edge lettering, raised objections from various religious groups whose complaints ranged from the difficulty of reading the motto to false “conspiracies to remove God from our money”. (Interestingly, there were no such objections to the placement of “E Pluribus Unum.) In any case the Mint responded by moving the motto back to the coin’s obverse while reducing the size of the lettering to accommodate both it and the presidential term displayed.

    Ignoring the politico-religious aspects for now, I find the edge lettering to be poorly executed compared to that on issues from other nations. The incuse lettering tends to be weak and is already starting to wear off older Presidential dollars I’ve received from transit fare machines. From an artistic standpoint, the Mint’s 2009 decision to move the date and mint mark off the obverse of the companion Native American dollars has unbalanced the design layout by leaving a large open area to the right of Sacajawea’s portrait while the other mottoes remain cramped in their original positions.

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