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Sacagawea Dollars destined to change in 2009

There's a new Indian Dollar in town


Those of us who have collected coins for even a short time know about the Presidential Dollar Series of coins which began in 2007.   

 You may also know about the Sacagawea dollar coins which the US mint began producing in the year 2000.  Both Presidential dollar and Sacagawea dollars are the same color and size, made of a golden colored metallic alloy of copper, zinc and nickel.

But did you know what’s happening in 2009?

 Public law # 110-82 

Authorizes new Native American Indian coins

 Beginning in 2009 the Sacagawea dollars will change.  No longer will these golden dollars have a reverse featuring an eagle in flight.   Instead Sacagawea dollar coins will have a changing design.  Each year the $ coin’s reverse will honor

“important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the development of the United States and the history of the United States.”

 Sacagawea dollars to become “Native American $1 Coins”

 Even though the naming of these $ coins will change from “Sacagawea” dollars to “Native American Dollars”, the obverse of these dollar coins will keep the same image of "Sacagawea” as in past years.  Only the reverse design will change each year.  The Native American $1 Coins will retain their size, edge, golden color.  As with the Presidential dollars, the 2009 Native American Indian dollars will have edge-lettering showing the year if issue, mint mark and the motto "E Pluribus Unum".   The motto “In God We Trust” and the inscription “Liberty” will be on the obverse side of the coin.  

Will there be “a lot” or “a few” minted?

An unusual feature of the law (public law 110-82) requires the United States Mint to mint Presidential $1 Coins and Native American $1 Coins at the same time.  AND, the law has another unusual feature:

It requires the mint to produce at least 20 percent of all $1 coins (minted and issued) in any year to be Native American $1 Coins.  

Coin dealers and experts question the logic of this feature of the law, and wonder what effect it will have on scarcity (if any) of the Sacagawea dollars or of the Presidential dollars in 2009.  Only one Native American $ is to be release each year, while four different presidential dollars will be issued yearly.  Will the demand for the 2009 Native American Dollar be as great as the Presidential Dollars?


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According to the current coin law, the Native American golden dollar coin series is to continue each year as long as the Presidential Dollar Series of coins are being made. 

 Designs of the Indian dollar coins

Artists submitting coin designs for consideration will send their ideas through an evaluation process.  Several entities will consult together and come up with a design approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. 

For more details about possible reverse design themes see the original public law act - Public Law # 110-82 

 Pictures of the 2009 Indian $ coin will be posted here.

 2009 Native American $1 Coin Statistics:

  • Weight 8.1 grams

  • Pure copper core with outer layers of manganese brass

  • Diameter about 26.5mm

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