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Modern US Coins – American Innovation $1 Coin Act Passes Senate

American Innovation $1 Coin Act

By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On Wednesday, June 20, the United States Senate passed H.R. 770, the American Innovation $1 Coin Act, with some revisions. It now goes back to the U.S. House of Representatives for approval or further amendment. The bill initially passed the House on January 16, 2018.

The American Innovation Dollar Coin Act would require the Treasury to “mint coins in recognition of American innovation & significant innovation and pioneering efforts of individuals or groups” from each state, territory and the District of Columbia. The program would serve as a replacement of sorts for the Presidential $1 coin series, which ended its first run in 2016. Native American $1 Coins, however, would continue to be produced alongside the new series.

The bill’s chief sponsor, Representative James A. Himes (D-CT4) originally introduced a version of the Act (H.R. 6025) to the 114th Congress on September 4, 2016. That bill died in committee, but Rep. Himes reintroduced the program early last year on January 31, 2017 as H.R. 770.

The main differences between Himes’ bill and the version that the Senate passed are changes to the order of issuance. The original legislation had the coins issued in alphabetical order while the Senate-amended bill mandates the dollar coins be released in the order that states ratified the U.S. Constitution – the same order of issuance as the popular 50 State Quarters program. Once all 50 states have been represented, the Senate version sets the order of issuance for the District of Columbia and United States Territories as follows:

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  3. Guam
  4. American Samoa
  5. United States Virgin Islands
  6. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

If approved by the House (and no other amendments are made), the bill would then go to President Trump for his signature or veto.


The proposed legislation decrees that the common obverse design should feature a likeness of the Statue of Liberty “large enough to provide a dramatic representation”. The denomination $1 and the motto “In God We Trust” must also be inscribed on the obverse.

Each reverse is to feature an “image or images” representing each state, territory and federal district and must be “emblematic of one of the following”:

  • Significant innovation with its roots or origins in the state, district or territory;
  • A specific innovator or pioneer from the state, district or territory; or
  • A group of innovators or pioneers;

The name of the state, district or territory and the inscriptions $1 and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA will be located on the reverse. The legend E PLURIBUS UNUM is to be incised on the edge of the coin.

The Secretary of the Treasury will consult with the governor of each state and territory as to the contents of each design. He or she will also consult the federal Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) will review and discuss each design as well.


Four coins will be released every year over the next 14 years (2017-2031). If a new state or territory joins the Union during the run of the program, then the new coin shall be incorporated in the appropriate place in the lineup.

Intriguingly, the Act also features a provision preventing issuance of a dollar coin for any state or territory that becomes independent of the U.S. before its entry in the program is struck.

A version of the House bill (S. 1326) was introduced to the Senate on June 8, 2017 by Senator Christopher Murphy, a fellow democrat from Connecticut.

The widgets below (courtesy of govtrack.us) will update as progress occurs.

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Coinweek is the top independent online media source for rare coin and currency news, with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum.

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