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Sacagawea dollars struck in gold

Base metal Sacagawea dollar coin. (Image courtesy www.usacoinbook.com)

Were gold composition Sacagawea dollar coins ever struck by the Mint?

Gold $5 Sacagawea coins were struck in 1999 with the intention of selling them to the public. The Mint’s authority to produce these was questioned, with the coins subsequently destroyed. Gold $1 Sacagawea coins were later struck at West Point, 12 of which went into space on the Space Shuttle Columbia. These coins are understood to be stored at Fort Knox today.

 

How could the authority of the Mint to coin $5 gold Sacagawea coins be questioned, yet $1 gold Sacagawea coins were not?

According to former U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy, the gold dollar coins were “struck to commemorate the historic flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999.” Since the gold $1 coins were eventually stopped, it appears that you could say both that and the $5 had their legal authority questioned. To me, it appears both decisions had to do with politics.

 

What is meant by the term Texas coin?

A Texas coin is an artificially altered error coin with a diameter greater than normal accompanied by proportionally larger designs. Such a coin is produced by placing the coin between two pieces of leather and striking them with a hammer. This process expands the images as well as the diameter of the coin.

 

I’ve heard of double denomination error bank notes. Are there double denomination coins as well?

Examples of a 2000-P George Washington quarter obverse muled with a Sacagawea dollar reverse (flying eagle) have been authenticated. A bin of these error coins at the Philadelphia Mint was discovered and ordered to be destroyed. A federal investigation indicated three of the 11 examples known to be in private hands were obtained legally, while the others were illegally sold by two Mint employees.

 

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This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

 


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