The United States Mint introduced the first golden colored dollar coins with the Sacagawea Dollars. The obverse design by Glenna Goodacre would feature a portrait of the Shoshone woman who had accompanied Lewis & Clark on their exploration of the western territories. Her newborn son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, is carried on her back. The reverse of the coin depicts an eagle in flight designed by Thomas D. Rodgers.
This would represent the third series since the silver content had been removed from the denomination. Rather than a large diameter like the Eisenhower Dollars, or the similar characteristics to the quarter dollar seen for the Susan B. Anthony Dollars, the Sacagawea Dollars would feature a small diameter with a distinctive golden color and a plain edge. This would allow the coins to easily be distinguished within circulation.
Despite a large amount of publicity surrounding the release, the series never managed to catch on. The large mintage of the inaugural was quickly ratcheted down as significant circulation was not achieved. By the third year, the series was only struck in limited quanities to satisfy collector demand.
For the Sacagawea Dollar series:
- A total of 18 different date and mint mark combinations were issued between 2000 and 2008. Each year consisted of coins minted at Philadelphia and Denver.
- The highest mintage occurred in the first year of issue when 1,286,056,000 coins were struck across both mint facilities.
- The 2008 Sacagawea Dollar has the lowest mintage with 1,820,000 struck at each mint facility.
- Across all years and mints, there were 1,462,481,110 circulation strike Sacagawea Dollars produced.
- From 2009 onwards, the series was retitled the Native American Dollar, and featured the similar obverse design with a rotating reverse design.
Sacagawea Dollar Mintages
Source: Sacagawea Dollars