Introduced to the Senate in May 2005, the Presidential $1 Coin Act began a new era in America’s circulating coinage. The purpose of the Presidential $1 Coin Act is to honor past presidents and their spouses, and to improve circulation of $1 coins.
Coin Issuance and Circulation
Under this Act, coins honoring each US President will be issued. A separate series of First Spouse $10 coins complements the Presidential $1 coins. Like the State Quarters program, the Presidential $1 Coin Program will continue until all eligible subjects have been honored. Each Presidential $1 coin will be issued for three months. Only presidents who have been deceased for at least two years at the time of issuance will be honored with a coin.
It would take roughly 11 years to honor all presidents, but the program will stop in 2016, after issuance of a coin honoring President Ronald Reagan. Two coins will be issued for Grover Cleveland, since he served two non-consecutive terms, but other presidents who served multiple consecutive terms will have only one coin.
The first coins in the Presidential $1 Program, commemorating George Washington’s presidency, were released into circulation on February 15, 2007, Presidents’ Day. Since coins are issued in the order of the presidents’ terms, coins have since been issued for the following presidents: John Adam, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and James Polk. A coin honoring Zachary Taylor will be issued in November 2009.
The First Spouse $10 gold coins will be issued along with the corresponding Presidential coins. If a president served without a spouse, the coin will feature Lady Liberty on its obverse, and an alternate design on its reverse.
Presidential Coin Design
The coins in this series are minted from copper, with manganese brass cladding. Each Presidential $1 coin features a portrait of the president on its obverse, along with the inscription “In God We Trust” and the dates of the president’s term. An engraving of the Statue of Liberty graces the coin’s reverse.
Like the St. Gaudens Double Eagle, the Presidential $1 coins have edge lettering. These are the first coins since the Double Eagle to incorporate this feature into the design. The coin’s edge contains the year of minting, the mint mark, and thirteen stars, along with the mottoes “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.”
The First Spouse $10 gold coins, like the Presidential coins, feature a portrait of the First Spouse on the obverse, in addition to the First Spouse’s name and dates of service. The reverse design of each First Spouse gold coin depicts a scene that represents each First Spouse’s unique contribution to the country.
If a president served without a First Spouse, the corresponding First Spouse coin has a portrait of Lady Liberty on its obverse. The reverse features an alternate design that reflects the President’s era.
The Presidential $1 coins and the First Spouse $10 gold coins represent a unique opportunity for coin collectors and historians alike. These numismatic masterpieces beautifully represent our country’s leaders and their contributions to our country.
This information is provided for general reference purposes and does not constitute professional advice. For detailed coin collecting or investing information, please consult with a professional expert.