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Collecting the Native American Dollar

By Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez for PCGS ……
The Native American Dollar series was first released by the United States Mint in 2009 and honors the lives and achievements of America’s diverse indigenous peoples. The series was authorized in 2007 by the Native American $1 Coin Act (PDF available here), which requires the coins to carry “images celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the development of the United States and the history of the United States.”

The Sacagawea dollar was first issued in 2000. Image: Adobe Stock.
The Sacagawea dollar was first issued in 2000. Image: Adobe Stock.

The common obverse showcases the Sacagawea motif that debuted with the release of the “golden dollar” in 2000, with a few modifications to provide more canvas space for the reverse designs as well as a distinctive appearance for this series. These changes include the relocation of the date from the obverse to the edge, the latter also receiving the legend “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and the coin’s respective mintmark.

The series is relatively easy to collect, as it provides one new reverse design each year. Those collecting the series by design will thus need just one coin from each year the Native American Dollar has been in production. Collectors wanting to complete the set by date, mintmark, and finish would need to add in the various business strikes from the Philadelphia and Denver mints, as well as Satin Finish and Proofs.

All told, a complete collection with these different regular-issue iterations and varieties amounts to several dozen coins, making the Native American Dollar set much more numismatically challenging than what may immediately meet the collector’s eye. Some collectors choose to build a set of Native American Dollars as an extension of the Sacagawea Dollar series proper, while others pursue these annually changing coins as its own separate series or subtype. The PCGS Set Registry offers collectors a myriad of options for building a Native American Dollar collection.

Here’s a rundown on the various Native American Dollar coins already released and planned as of this writing:

2009 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint
2009 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint
  • 2009 – Three Sisters Agriculture
  • 2010 – Hiawatha Belt
  • 2011 – Wampanoag
  • 2012 – Trade Routes of the 17th Century
  • 2013 – Treaty with the Lenape
  • 2014 – Native American Hospitality
2015 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint
2015 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint
2020 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint
2020 Native American Dollar. Image: U.S. Mint

As of this writing, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) has recommended designs for the Native American Dollar through 2024. While time will tell what designs may follow, the series has already provided collectors with a plethora of beautiful designs honoring some of the most culturally significant contributors and contributions representing America’s indigenous peoples.

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For more information from PCGS, click on the image below.

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