The United States Mint first minted the Sacagawea dollar $1 coin in 2000. In 2008, the Native American $1 Coin Act dictated a design change that memorializes Native Americans and "the important contributions made by individual tribes and individual Native Americans to the development of the United States." Additionally, the act called for edge markings to include the year of minting, mint marks, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM to be incuse on the edge of the coin.
Glenna Goodacre's portrait of Native American Shoshone Sacagawea and her infant son, Jean Baptiste, was selected in a national competition for the coin's obverse design. Thomas D. Rogers, Sr., designed the coin's reverse featuring an American bald eagle soaring in flight.
The United States Mint paid Goodacre $5,000 for creating the winning design. In addition, the Mint struck 5,000 Sacajawea dollars to pay her. Several years after Mint Director Philip Dhiel delivered the coins to Goodacre, it was discovered that they were minted on specially prepared planchets and specially produced dies. These presentation pieces display a different appearance and are relatively transparent compared to a regular struck coin.
The coin is 26.5 millimeters in diameter, weighs 8.1 grams, and is composed of a pure copper core with outer layers of magnesium brass (77 percent copper, 12 percent zinc, 7 percent manganese, and 4 percent nickel). Although the mint initially marketed this coin as the "Golden Dollar," the coin does not contain any gold.
Although these coins barely circulate because nobody uses them, the United States Mint still manufactures Native American $1 coins because they are required by law. From 2002 through 2008, the Sacagawea dollars were minted only for collectors.
In 2009, the Native American dollars were first minted. These coins still feature Sacajawea on the obverse. However, a new reverse design is selected every year based on Native American heritage. Unfortunately, only coin collectors could purchase these coins directly from the United States Mint in bags and rolls. Therefore, the mintage numbers in these years are low. Nice uncirculated examples are available from your local coin dealer or the Internet.
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Key Dates, Rarities, and Varieties
Some Sacagawea $1 coins are worth considerably more than common coins, such as the Cheerios Dollar Coin. These coins may be counterfeit or altered from common Sacagawea $1 coins. Have your coin authenticated by a reputable coin dealer or third-party grading service to ensure it is genuine.
Condition or Grade
If your coin has no evidence of wear due to being in circulation, it is considered an uncirculated coin. Circulated coins carry no numismatic premium.
The mint produced Sacagawea and Native American $1 coins at three different mints: Philadelphia (P), Denver (D), and San Francisco (S: proof coins only). The location of the mint mark on the Sacagawea dollar (2000 to 2008) is on the obverse just below the date. For the Native American dollar (2009 through today), the mint mark is located on the edge of the coin just after the date.
Sacagawea & Native American $1 Coins Average Prices and Values
The "buy price" is what you can expect to pay a coin dealer to purchase the coin. The "sell value" is the amount you can expect from a coin dealer when you sell the coin. Values are provided for both an average circulated Sacagawea or Native American $1 coin and an average uncirculated coin. These are approximate retail prices and wholesale discounts. Of course, the offer you receive from a particular coin dealer will vary depending on the actual grade of the coin and some other factors that determine its worth.
|Date & Mint||Circ. Buy||Circ. Sell||Unc. Buy||Unc. Sell|
|2000 P Cheerios *||$1,500.00||$1,200.00||$3,000.00||$2,600.00|
|2000 P Wounded Eagle *||$275.00||$225.00||$475.00||$390.00|
|2000 P Presentation *||$300.00||$225.00||$350.00||$300.00|
|Native American Dollar Series|
F.V. = Face Value
*= See the section above "Key Dates, Rarities, and Varieties" for more information on these coins.