United States 2000-D Sacagawea Golden Dollar

By 2000, the United States Mint was facing a dramatic upswing in the demand for circulating coinage. Consequently, the Denver Mint installed a series of new modern bulk coin bagging machines to help accommodate the overall increase of over 8.5 billion coins.

Officially released into circulation on January 27, 2000, with great fanfare after a massive marketing push, it only took a few years for the Sacagawea dollar to flounder. In 2000, Denver struck almost 519 million Sacagawea dollars – 40.3% of the total mintage for that year. However, this number dropped to just under 80 million in 2001 and to 3.73 million in 2002. A 99.3% decrease over just two years!

While the Philadelphia Mint struck the famous Goodacre and Cheerios types and the San Francisco Mint struck the Proof coins, Denver was responsible for the 75,000 Millennium Sets. Sold for $39 USD ($67.22 adjusted for inflation as of the time of publication), these sets contained the 2000 American Silver Eagle, the 2000-D Sacagawea dollar, and a one-dollar bill with the number 2000 included in the serial number. These Sacagawea dollars were released with a special burnished proof-like finish. To receive the “Millennium Set” designation on a graded and slabbed Sacagawea dollar, the coin needs to be submitted in the original packaging. Today, these sets sell for between $80 and $100.

The 2000-D Sacagawea Dollar in Today’s Market

Due to the mintage of over half a billion coins, the 2000-D Sacagawea dollar is a common coin. Below Mint State, these coins are worth face value and can be spent freely without concern. With only 2,235 examples graded in MS 67, 476 in MS 68, and four in MS 69, this type becomes scarce only in high Mint State.

In MS 67 and below, however, these coins are not worth grading, since their value is less than the submission cost. Collectors should be confident that their coins are MS 68 or above if they are looking to grade them for a profit. Currently, MS 68s command a price between $40 and $100. Since coins of this grade are all very similar, this price fluctuation depends on the seller’s photos and the interest of the bidders. For example, in January 2022, an MS 68 sold on eBay for $119 with relatively nice pictures, while a coin with near-identical eye appeal yet terrible pictures sold seven months later for only $60.

With only 6,824 certified and graded Millennium Set coins (12 graded by PCGS and 6822 by NGC), this variety is by nature rarer than those struck for standard circulation. These coins are valued between $7 and $100, with some MS 65 proof-likes selling for as low as $7 and some MS 68 proof-likes selling for as high as $96. However, for MS 66 and 67, the average sale price falls between $20 and $30. Heritage Auctions did sell a near-perfect MS 69 for $720 and an MS 68 for $228 in February 2022. With no marks, a sharp strike, and fully lustrous fields, the MS 69 is a stunning coin.

Design

Obverse:

In accordance with Treasury Department guidelines, 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 1805-6. 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 IN GOD WE TRUST, and in the right-hand field below her chin is the date (2000). The mintmark (D) is below the date. The designer’s initials (G.G) can be seen on the infant’s swaddling cloth at the bottom of the design.

Reverse:

The reverse, like many US coins, is dominated by an eagle. With outstretched wings, the eagle soars to the left. Above the eagle’s head is the US motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The entire design is ringed by the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination ONE DOLLAR. The eagle’s right wing tip overlaps slightly with “OF” at the top of the coin. Within the legend is a ring of 17 stars. These 5-pointed stars represent all of the states belonging to the Union at the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The designer’s initials (T.D.R.) can be seen below the eagle’s tail feathers and to the right of the denomination.

Edge:

The edge of the 2000 D Sacagawea dollar is smooth or plain.

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.

As a sculptor and engraver for the U.S. Mint, Thomas D. Rogers was responsible for the design of several modern U.S. coins. After joining the Philadelphia Mint in 1991, he designed the obverse of the commemorative 1996 silver dollar for the Smithsonian’s 150th anniversary and the original reverse of the American Platinum Eagle in 1997. Rogers later designed the reverses of the Massachusetts, Maryland, and South Carolina 50 State quarters. He retired from the Mint in 2001.

Coin Specifications

Country:  USA
Year Of Issue:  2000
Denomination:  One Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark:  D (Denver)
Mintage: 518,916,000
Alloy:  88.5% Copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese, and 2% Nickel
Weight:  8.10 g
Diameter:  26.50 mm
Edge: Plain
OBV Designer  Glenna Goodacre
REV Designer  Thomas D. Rogers, Sr.
Quality: Business Strike

 

* * *

 

20 COMMENTS

    • There are loads of good online sources (and sadly, a lot of bad ones too). You can also get the R.S. Yeoman Red Book that has information about nearly every US coin ever issued.

      That said it’s very unlikely you’ll find much valuable in your pocket change. Silver was eliminated from US coins over 50 years ago so most of them are long gone from circulation. Wheat cents were last made in 1958, and even those from the 1940s are only worth a small amount.

    • Regardless of other advice, you don’t need to have your coin evaluated. As the article notes enormous numbers of Sacajawea dollars were minted. Any that you get in change are only worth face value.

    • You don’t have to take it to a dealer. What you have is a new series of $1 coins that feature Sacajawea on the front, but honor various Native American achievements on the reverse side. A simple search with the two phrases “create law of peace” and “dollar coin” will give you all sorts of information.

      Specifically, your coin was minted in 2010. For odd reasons the Mint opted to move the coins’ dates and mint marks from the front to the edge where they’re almost invisible.

    • Yes, $1. It does have a date, not just on the font. For rather complex (and IMO unjustified) reasons the Mint now puts the date and mint mark on the coin’s edge where it’s barely visible.

    • “The bird” is of course an eagle, the symbol of the US.

      The coin you describe is known as a “wounded eagle” error. However according to PCGS it’s only known to have happened on 2000-P Sacajawea dollars; the fact that you mention a 2000-D is a possible red flag.

      Despite my other answers, this IS a case where you should have the coin evaluated in person to determine its authenticity.

  1. The problem is they were almost exactly the same size as a quarter. I don’t know how many times I received one wrongly by a cashier. I’ve also had a cashier threaten to call the police for counterfeiting charges when trying to spend one. I love them and have a bag full just to keep/hoard just like $2 bills and the bicentennial coins

    • Yes – I keep a supply of “golden” dollars for tips, cash-only tolls, etc. as well as a few $2 bills.

      That said, while confusion with quarters _was_ a serious problem for the hapless SBA dollars which were minted in the same cupronickel composition the newer coins’ brass color is very distinctive. In fact:
      (a) a dime and cent are even closer in size but people don’t confuse them because they’re different colors, and
      (b) Canada’s Loonie and quarter are essentially the same sizes and colors as their US cousins yet there haven’t been reports of confusion.

      I often wonder why so many people in our country claim they have difficulty telling the coins apart.

      I also don’t understand the allergy to $2 bills. Their denomination makes perfect sense in a decimal currency system where values are based on factors of 10. I’ve visited half a dozen other countries that all have a two-unit coin or bill; they circulate widely and no one thinks they’re strange.

  2. I have hundreds of Scagawea coins, most In excellent condition. It’s hard to find what their worth, because it seems that every sight have a different opinion about what their worth. Who an you trust????

    • As the article notes, almost all that you find in circulation quality are only going to be worth face value. However there are a number of known errors that can sell for a premium. If you do a search for “Sacajawea dollar errors” you’ll find a lot of sites (rather than “sights”) that describe the errors and list values. If you do find something that looks like an error it should be looked at in person by an expert.

      As far as trust is concerned, stick with sites operated by one of the major numismatic agencies like ANA, PCGS, etc.. There are also respected, coin-specific private sites such as USACoinBook, Numismedia, etc. Don’t rely on general auction sites because in most cases they’re not closely monitored for accuracy. If you’re not already very knowledgeable about coins it can be very tough to separate good info from bad on those sites.

      P.S. “what they’re worth” rather than “their”. Hope that helps! :)

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.