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Reverse Proof Innovation Dollar Available Feb. 1

South Carolina coin honors Septima Poinsette Clark
Image courtesy U.S. Mint.

Image courtesy U.S. Mint.

The American Innovation reverse proof dollar coin honoring the state of South Carolina is set to release to collectors at noon EST Feb. 1.

The United States Mint is proud to celebrate innovation and honor the spirit of America with the 2020 American Innovation $1 Reverse Proof Coin from the State of South Carolina.

The dollar features Septima Poinsette Clark, who has been called the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” Born May 3, 1898, in Charleston, S.C., she was a social innovator and pioneer who shined the spotlight on the crucial link between education and political organizing aimed at gaining the right to vote.

Young Clark attended Avery Normal Institute, a private school for African Americans in Charleston. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Benedict College and master’s at Hampton Institute, she obtained a teaching license, but local laws at the time prohibited African Americans from teaching in public schools. So she instead became an instructor on South Carolina’s Johns Island. She later returned to Charleston to teach at Avery and joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Clark did eventually become a teacher in the Charleston City Schools but was fired for her activism in the NAACP. She later worked at Tennessee’s Highlander Folk School as director of its citizenship school program focused on basic literacy and math skills in communities of need. Her efforts led to more voter registration at a time when many states still used literacy tests to disenfranchise African Americans.

The dollar’s reverse depicts Clark with three African American students carrying books and an American flag, representing that education and literacy are necessary for empowerment and enjoyment of civil rights. The inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “SEPTIMA CLARK,” and “SOUTH CAROLINA.”

The edge-incused inscriptions are “2020,” “S” mintmark and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”

The coin features an inverted proof finish. The background is frosted, while all design elements are polished to the same mirror-like finish.

Purchase price is $11.50 with a household order limit of five. Mintage is capped at 50,000. Orders must be placed online at catalog.usmint.gov.