A dozen proof 2000-W Sacagawea dollars struck in .9167 fine alloy that flew in a July 1999 Space Shuttle Columbia mission will be displayed by the U.S. Mint Aug. 10 at its booth at the American Numismatic Association World?s Fair of Money in Milwaukee, Wis.
The coins were created as both promotional items for the Sacagawea dollar but also as patterns for possible collector versions of the design. A program to sell them to collectors never materialized, so the pieces were stored in Fort Knox, Ky.
The coins are slightly larger than the dollar coin.
A special unveiling ceremony will be held by Mint Director Ed Moy at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 10 at Milwaukee?s Midwest Airlines Convention Center.
Obverse of the gold coins features the Glenna Goodacre Sacagawea portrait. The reverse of an eagle in flight was done by Thomas D. Rogers.
The Columbia flight that carried the coins was commanded by U.S. Air Force Col. (retired) Eileen Collings.
This was not the first time coins have gone into space, but it is the first time the U.S. Mint had sent coins into orbit for possible commercial reasons.