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Eagle to fly away

Sacagawea dollars with the 2008 date are closer to reality, the Mint said yesterday. Both houses of Congress passed a technical amendment that gives the green light to production and sale of the coin.

The only thing left now is a Presidential signature. This is expected in a routine fashion.

This year is an in-between year. Last year the Congress modified the law and turned the Sacagawea dollar into an annual commemorative of Native Americans. Starting in 2009 and for each year thereafter, the reverse will change to commemorate Native American themes. That left 2008 in legal limbo in the Mint’s opinion and why the congressional action was requested to prevent any possible problems.

Collectors now will have more reason to collect the series than a simple date change.

In terms of aggregate mintages, the Sac dollar is successful. In terms of usage, it is a curiosity that is primarily reserved for collectors. New designs probably will inspire hobbyists to get reacquainted with the coin.

So this year is your last chance to buy the Sac with the flying eagle on the reverse. It’s run is not quite as long as the Standing Liberty quarter, but it is longer than the Flying Eagle cent.

Why do the natural looking flying eagles have shorter runs than the formally posed and heraldic eagles? Good question.