The official design for the 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial silver dollar was revealed by the U.S. Mint April 21. The commemorative coin celebrates the milestone 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
“This coin pays homage to the 19th Amendment’s adoption, and also honors the many pioneers, activists and foot soldiers in the movement who fought bravely and tenaciously for decades to make the amendment a reality,” said David J. Ryder, U.S. Mint director.
The Women’s Suffrage silver dollar is authorized by Public Law 116-71 to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, giving women the right to vote. Giving millions of female citizens the right to vote profoundly changed the nation by moving it far closer to its promise of inclusion and equality.
Surcharges of $10 per coin sold are authorized to be paid to the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative for research and creation of exhibits and programs to highlight the history and impact of women in the United States. The surcharges will also assist in creating exhibitions and programs that recognize diverse perspectives on women’s history and contributions, according to the Mint.
The legislation authorizes the Mint to strike and issue up to 400,000 $1 silver coins.
Artistic Infusion Program artist Christina Hess designed both the obverse and reverse of the coin, which were both sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, United States Mint medallic artist.
The obverse of the coin features overlapping profiles of three distinct women. Each woman is wearing a different type of hat to symbolize the many decades the suffrage movement spanned. The figure in the foreground is wearing a cloche hat with an art deco pattern and a button with the year of the 19th Amendment’s ratification. The inscriptions “LIBERTY,” “$1,” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” encircle the design.
The reverse design shows “2020” being dropped into a ballot box, styled with art deco elements to indicate the artistic style of the era. “VOTES FOR WOMEN” is inscribed inside a circle on the front of the box. The inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “IN GOD WE TRUST” are on the ballot box.
“The 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment is a rare moment to celebrate the milestone in American history that made it possible for women to finally have a voice in government,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn, sponsor of the Senate version of the legislation. “It is such a pleasure to see this effort remembered through the imagery of this coin. Every woman in Congress today has the women and men of the suffrage movement to thank for our right to represent our constituents. Ninety-nine years after women gained the right to vote, I became the first woman from Tennessee to serve in the United States Senate. It is my hope that this commemorative coin will keep this history alive.”
“I was proud to lead the bicameral Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act through the House” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, sponsor of the House version of the legislation. “One of the most vocal advocates for women’s suffrage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was born and raised in Johnstown, N.Y. The majority of voters in our country are women, and it is my hope that this legislation will encourage women across the country to continue to be active participants in civic life.”
“The Smithsonian is honored to join the U.S. Mint in recognizing and celebrating American women’s history with the unveiling of this commemorative coin,” said Julissa Marenco, assistant secretary of the Smithsonian and a commissioner on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. “In one of America’s most defining moments, this historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to empower women – past, present, and future.”