The Presidential Golden Dollar Program
In 2007, the United States Mint launched the Presidential Golden Dollar program, an ambitious new $1 coin series ultimately intended to honor every single U.S. President in the order in which they served. The U.S. Mint will produce and release four coins per year until all Presidents have been honored. The Presidential Golden Dollar program is currently projected to last at least through 2016 until all former Presidents who have been deceased for more than two years have been honored.
In a manner fitting the historic nature of this coin series, several design innovations were implemented to make the Presidential Golden Dollars unique among all United States coins. In addition to being “golden” dollars as first depicted with the Sacagawea $1 coin, the Presidential Golden Dollars feature other design innovations unique among all United States coins. For example:
- Each coin’s obverse will uniquely feature the likeness of each respective President with their name inscribed along the top rim. The obverse’s bottom rim inscriptions will denote which President they were numerically and their term years in office.
- The traditional inscriptions normally found on the obverse of circulating coins denoting the mint year and mintmark, along with the mottos “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum,” will uniquely adorn the coin’s edge.
- In place of the traditional “Liberty” inscription, the coin’s reverse features a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty, along with inscriptions denoting “United States of America” and a “$1” legal tender denomination.
In February 2007, the first coin that was minted and issued commemorated George Washington, the nation’s beloved first President. Every three months a new coin will be released. As 2007 unfolded, the U.S. Mint released the Golden Dollars for John Adams in May, Thomas Jefferson in August and James Madison in November. The 2008 series will be inaugurated with the James Monroe Golden Dollar in February.
The United States Mint and numismatic enthusiasts expect the Presidential Golden Dollar program to further energize the formerly known “hobby of kings” by introducing an entire new generation to the joys of coin collecting. One of the main reasons individuals like to collect coins is for the historical appreciation of the coins themselves and the events or historical figures they are intended to commemorate. As a quick history review, the following “brief profiles” remind us of some of the landmark accomplishments of our great nation’s earliest Presidents.
A Brief Profile of George Washington:
- On February 15th, 2007, the United States Mint issued the new George Washington Golden Dollar, only the second U.S. coin to ever bear the likeness of the nation’s first President who served from 1789-1797.
- The George Washington Golden Dollar is the first coin to be released in the Mint’s ambitious Presidential Golden Dollar Program.
- Before becoming President, Washington served as the General and Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
- As the first President of the United States, he signed the country’s first Act of Congress in 1789 and later the legislation that established the United States Mint in 1792.
- In 1791, President Washington presided over the nation’s first recorded Cabinet meeting, which included Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.
- President Washington himself laid the cornerstone for the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on September 18, 1793.
A Brief Profile of John Adams:
- On May 18th, 2007, the United States Mint issued the new John Adams Golden Dollar, the first U.S. coin to ever bear the likeness of the nation’s second President who served from 1797-1801.
- The John Adams Golden Dollar is the second coin to be released in the Mint’s ambitious Presidential Golden Dollar Program.
- John Adams, who was also the nation’s first Vice-President, was the first U.S. President to live in the White House.
- During the American Revolution, the Harvard-educated Adams served the upstart nation as a foreign diplomat drumming up critical international support for the recognition of America’s independence.
A Brief Profile of Thomas Jefferson:
- On August 16th, 2007, the United States Mint issued the new Thomas Jefferson Golden Dollar, only the second U.S. coin to ever bear Jefferson’s likeness who served as the nation’s third President from 1801-1809.
- The Thomas Jefferson Golden Dollar is the third coin to be released in the Mint’s ambitious Presidential Golden Dollar Program.
- Among his many accomplishments prior to becoming President, Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence at age of 33, was the nation’s first Secretary of State in the Washington administration and served as Vice-President under John Adams.
- As President, he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase and commissioned the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the territory.
- Known as the “Sage of Monticello,” his vast library later became part of the Library of Congress.
- One of four U.S. Presidents memorialized at Mt. Rushmore and also honored in Washington D.C. with the Jefferson Memorial.
A Brief Profile of James Madison:
- On November 15th, 2007, the United States Mint issued the new James Madison Golden Dollar, the first U.S. coin to ever bear the likeness of the nation’s fourth President who served from 1809-1817.
- The James Madison Golden Dollar is the fourth coin to be released in the Mint’s ambitious Presidential Golden Dollar Program and the last one to be issued in 2007.
- Madison is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” and “Father of the Bill of Rights”.
- Wrote over one-third of the essays comprising “The Federalist Papers,” which is still considered the most influential Constitutional commentary ever written.
- Served as Secretary of State in the Jefferson administration from 1801-1809 and was instrumental in negotiating the Louisiana Purchase doubling the size of America.
- While President, he engaged the young nation in a war with Britain to protect America’s economic rights.
With the program already mapped out through at least 2016, collectors will be hearing a lot more about the Presidential Golden Dollar program for years to come. Anyone interested in building their very own collection should consult with their favorite coin dealer, make sure they are a reputable dealer, and have a history of leadership, are BBB accredited, and that they get started sooner rather than later collecting Presidential Golden Dollars.