Learn about the new dollar coins from the United States Mint. The presidential dollar coins, launched in February 2007 through the Presidential dollar program of the United States Mint, feature former US presidents.
Each year, four presidents (based on their chronological terms of service) are honored with their own dollar coins as their effigies are struck on the obverse side.
The presidential dollars are often called the “new golden coins” because of their color although they do not contain gold.
The new one dollar presidential coins are released to counter the low popularity of its forerunner, the Sacagawea $1 coin series in honor of the American Indian girl who assisted Lewis and Clark in their famous expedition.
The presidential coin series aims to educate the public on the history of the US presidents. The reverse of the $1 coin shows the Statue of Liberty with coin’s face value and the inscription “United States of America”. Thus, the US Mint has decided not to include the “Liberty” inscription, as it was otherwise customary in other US coins.
Where is the “In God We Trust” in the new dollar coins?
The presidential dollar coins have been controversial upon its release because conservative groups reacted against the absence of the “In God We Trust” on the coin’s surface.
The national motto has not been intentionally omitted, however. It was just inscribed along the coin’s edge together with the mint year, the mint mark, the 13 stars, and the “E Pluribus Unum” legend.
People have started calling the presidential dollars as the “godless dollars” or “godless coins” because of the unconventional inscription of the motto.
There were also minting discrepancies on the new one dollar coins. Accidentally, the presidential coins did not contain the “In God We Trust”. This increased some American’s doubt on the unintended exclusion of the motto. There were an estimated 50,000 mint errors of Washington presidential dollars.
Thus, the US Mint was mandated by the US Congress to redesign the new US $1 coin. By 2009, the national motto was already struck on the reverse or heads side of the coin.
New one dollar coin versus the old one dollar bill
The U.S government has taken great lengths to convince the public to choose the new golden dollar coin over the old dollar bills. The presidential coins are more environment-friendly to produce than the paper bills.
Further more, minting the new presidential dollar coins conserves government funds since they are more durable and recyclable than the one dollar bills. Even if each presidential dollar coin costs sixty cents each, they last for thirty years or so. Where as the lifespan of a dollar note is only 18 months.
The first series of presidential coins in 2007 started with the effigies of President Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. The Presidential dollar program will continue until 2017.
I am passionate about the historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of currency. I collect coins and banknotes from various countries and time periods, focusing on specific themes, time periods, or regions that I find interesting. I also love to study the historical context of the currency that influenced coinage and currency issuance.