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Presidential Dollars (2007-Date)






"Hail to the Chief” has long been an expression of respect for the nation’s chief executive, one that the individuals holding the office of president of the United States have merited to highly variable degrees. Nevertheless, on December 22, 2005 President George W. Bush signed into law the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorizing a series of coins to honor these special persons.

The law called for the minting and issuance of four new dollar coins per year, each to bear on its obverse “the name and likeness of a President of the United States,” “the dates or years of the term of office,” and “a number indicating the order of the period of service in which the president served.” The common reverse for each coin features “a likeness of the Statue of Liberty, the inscription ‘$1’ and “the inscription ‘United States of America.’” These dollars are coined and released in the order of the president’s terms, with George Washington occupying the first issue, followed by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, etc.

The composition selected for this series of coins is the same employed for the Sacagawea Dollar introduced in 2000. This consists of three separate layers of metal pressure bonded to form the ribbon-like strip from which the planchets are then punched. The innermost layer is pure copper, while bonded to either side of this are layers of manganese brass (77% copper, 12% zinc, 7% manganese and 4% nickel). This clad composition provides the same magnetic signature as that of the Anthony dollar which, at least in theory, is still a current coin. Thus, all three coins may function interchangeable in vending machines and turnstiles.

In order to reduce the clutter of inscriptions on the obverse and reverse of the Presidential dollars, the law provided that the statutory legends and mottoes be placed on the edge of each coin, along with the date and mint of issue. Thus, the words E PLURIBUS UNUM and IN GOD WE TRUST were applied to the edge of the dollars by means of incuse lettering. Unlike the coins of 1793-1836, which received their edge lettering prior to striking by the dies, the Presidential dollars are coined first and then lettered in a secondary process. This has resulted in most examples having a greater number of nicks and scuffs than are customary for other denominations, and this fact has made the locating of gem specimens quite a challenge for collectors.

The currency strikes for the Presidential dollars are produced at the U. S. Mints in Philadelphia and Denver, while the San Francisco Mint produces the proof examples for collectors. With both the date and mintmark appearing on the coins’ edges, this has created challenges to collectors and certification services in mounting these coins in such a way as to reveal this information. Another unintended issue that quickly arose was the appearance of numerous George Washington dollars that never received their edge lettering. This secondary step was overlooked, and the error has become common enough that most collectors determined to own an example will be able to do so. Also surfacing early on were a much smaller number of unstruck planchets that nevertheless possessed the desired edge lettering, indicating that these underwent only the secondary striking! Common too during the first year of the program were coins having doubled or partial lettering, all easily explainable by the minting process, yet these errors have captured collector interest and carry various premiums according to error type and coin type.

The location of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST inconspicuously on the coin’s edge led conspiracy theorists to claim that this was the first step toward its eventual elimination on America’s money. This notion only gained momentum with the appearance of Presidential Dollars that failed to receive their edge lettering. Repeated complaints prompted the relocation of this motto to the coin’s obverse beginning with the 2009 issues, though the date, mintmark and E PLURIBUS UNUM remain on the edge. Though it injures the clean lines of 2009 and subsequent dollars, this move has largely pacified critics. The whole brouhaha recalls the outrage which greeted the Saint-Gaudens gold eagles and double eagles a century earlier. At the request of President Theodore Roosevelt, who considered its inclusion on money sacrilegious, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was omitted altogether in 1907, only to be restored by Congressional mandate the following year.

The intent of these coins is to circulate in daily commerce alongside the paper dollar, the enabling legislation specifically referring to the superior design and relief of the presidential dollars as a means of gaining their acceptance over previous dollar coins. This naïve notion that the public will accept dollar coins when their paper equivalent remains available will likely doom these pieces as a circulating medium, a concept that Congress has repeatedly failed to understand in authorizing this and previous dollar coin issues.

In a further move that many in numismatics questioned, Congress also included in this law a provision that the U. S. Mint continue to coin Sacagawea dollars in quantities not less than one-third of the total number of presidential dollars issued. This will dramatically boost the mintage of Sacagawea dollars which, in recent years, has hovered around 5-7 million pieces annually, just enough to satisfy the collector market. What will become of the many millions of additional “Sac” dollars has not been determined. Belated recognition of this error prompted a readjustment of the Sacagawea dollar mintage to just 20% of the number of Presidential dollars coined each year, effective 2009, but this is still more coins than their circulation justifies.

Coins in Category

2007 P GEORGE WASHINGTON $1 MS 2007 P SMS GEORGE WASHINGTON $1 MS 2007 D GEORGE WASHINGTON $1 MS 2007 D SMS GEORGE WASHINGTON $1 MS (2007) WASHINGTON MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2007 P JOHN ADAMS $1 MS 2007 P JOHN ADAMS DBL.EDG.LET. - OVERLAPPED $1 MS 2007 P JOHN ADAMS DBL.EDG.LET. - INVERTED $1 MS 2007 P SMS JOHN ADAMS $1 MS 2007 D JOHN ADAMS $1 MS 2007 D JOHN ADAMS DBL.EDG.LET. - OVERLAPPED $1 MS 2007 D JOHN ADAMS DBL.EDG.LET. - INVERTED $1 MS 2007 D SMS JOHN ADAMS $1 MS (2007) JOHN ADAMS MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2007 P THOMAS JEFFERSON $1 MS 2007 P SMS THOMAS JEFFERSON $1 MS 2007 D THOMAS JEFFERSON $1 MS 2007 D SMS THOMAS JEFFERSON $1 MS (2007) JEFFERSON MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2007 P JAMES MADISON $1 MS 2007 P SMS JAMES MADISON $1 MS 2007 D JAMES MADISON $1 MS 2007 D SMS JAMES MADISON $1 MS (2007) MADISON MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2008 P JAMES MONROE $1 MS 2008 P SMS JAMES MONROE $1 MS 2008 D JAMES MONROE $1 MS 2008 D SMS JAMES MONROE $1 MS 2008 P JOHN QUINCY ADAMS $1 MS 2008 P SMS JOHN QUINCY ADAMS $1 MS 2008 D JOHN QUINCY ADAMS $1 MS 2008 D SMS JOHN QUINCY ADAMS $1 MS 2008 P ANDREW JACKSON $1 MS 2008 P SMS ANDREW JACKSON $1 MS 2008 D ANDREW JACKSON $1 MS 2008 D SMS ANDREW JACKSON $1 MS 2008 P MARTIN VAN BUREN $1 MS 2008 P SMS MARTIN VAN BUREN $1 MS 2008 D MARTIN VAN BUREN $1 MS 2008 D SMS MARTIN VAN BUREN $1 MS (2008) VAN BUREN MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2009 P WILLIAM H. HARRISON $1 MS 2009 P SMS WILLIAM H. HARRISON $1 MS 2009 D WILLIAM H. HARRISON $1 MS 2009 D SMS WILLIAM H. HARRISON $1 MS (2009) HARRISON MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2009 P JOHN TYLER $1 MS 2009 P SMS JOHN TYLER $1 MS 2009 D JOHN TYLER $1 MS 2009 D SMS JOHN TYLER $1 MS (2009) TYLER MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2009 P JAMES K. POLK $1 MS 2009 P SMS JAMES K. POLK $1 MS 2009 D JAMES K. POLK $1 MS 2009 D SMS JAMES K. POLK $1 MS (2009) POLK MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2009 P ZACHARY TAYLOR $1 MS 2009 P SMS ZACHARY TAYLOR $1 MS 2009 D ZACHARY TAYLOR $1 MS 2009 D SMS ZACHARY TAYLOR $1 MS (2009) TAYLOR MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2010 P MILLARD FILLMORE $1 MS 2010 P SMS MILLARD FILLMORE $1 MS 2010 D MILLARD FILLMORE $1 MS 2010 D SMS MILLARD FILLMORE $1 MS (2010) FILLMORE MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2010 P FRANKLIN PIERCE $1 MS 2010 P SMS FRANKLIN PIERCE $1 MS 2010 D FRANKLIN PIERCE $1 MS 2010 D SMS FRANKLIN PIERCE $1 MS (2010) PIERCE MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2010 P JAMES BUCHANAN $1 MS 2010 P SMS JAMES BUCHANAN $1 MS 2010 D JAMES BUCHANAN $1 MS 2010 D SMS JAMES BUCHANAN $1 MS (2010) BUCHANAN MISSING EDGE LETTERING $1 MS 2010 P ABRAHAM LINCOLN $1 MS 2010 P SMS ABRAHAM LINCOLN $1 MS 2010 D ABRAHAM LINCOLN $1 MS 2010 D SMS ABRAHAM LINCOLN $1 MS 2011 P ANDREW JOHNSON $1 MS 2011 D ANDREW JOHNSON $1 MS 2011 P ULYSSES S. GRANT $1 MS 2011 D ULYSSES S. GRANT $1 MS 2011 P RUTHERFORD HAYES $1 MS 2011 D RUTHERFORD HAYES $1 MS 2011 P JAMES GARFIELD $1 MS 2011 D JAMES GARFIELD $1 MS 2012 P CHESTER ARTHUR $1 MS 2012 D CHESTER ARTHUR $1 MS 2012 P GROVER CLEVELAND 1ST TERM $1 MS 2012 D GROVER CLEVELAND 1ST TERM $1 MS (2012) GROVER CLEVELAND 1ST TERM $1 MS 2012 P BENJAMIN HARRISON $1 MS 2012 D BENJAMIN HARRISON $1 MS 2012 P GROVER CLEVELAND 2ND TERM $1 MS 2012 D GROVER CLEVELAND 2ND TERM $1 MS 2013 P WILLIAM McKINLEY $1 MS 2013 D WILLIAM McKINLEY $1 MS 2013 P THEODORE ROOSEVELT $1 MS 2013 D THEODORE ROOSEVELT $1 MS 2013 P WILLIAM TAFT $1 MS 2013 D WILLIAM TAFT $1 MS 2013 P WOODROW WILSON $1 MS 2013 D WOODROW WILSON $1 MS 2014 P WARREN HARDING $1 MS 2014 D WARREN HARDING $1 MS 2014 P CALVIN COOLIDGE $1 MS 2014 D CALVIN COOLIDGE $1 MS 2014 P HERBERT HOOVER $1 MS 2014 D HERBERT HOOVER $1 MS 2014 P FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT $1 MS 2014 D FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT $1 MS

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