Nickel (United States coin)
A nickel, in American usage, is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866, its diameter is.835 inches and its thickness is.077 inches. Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2015, over 1.5 billion nickels were produced at the Denver mints. The silver half dime, equal to five cents, had been issued since the 1790s; the American Civil War caused economic hardship, driving silver from circulation. In 1865, Congress abolished the five-cent fractional currency note after Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau, placed his own portrait on the denomination. After the successful introduction of two-cent and three-cent pieces without precious metal, Congress authorized a five-cent piece consisting of base metal; the initial design of the Shield nickel was struck from 1866 until 1883 was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel.
The Buffalo nickel was introduced in 1913 as part of a drive to increase the beauty of American coinage. In 2004 and 2005, special designs in honor of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were issued. In 2006, the Mint reverted to using Jefferson nickel designer Felix Schlag's original reverse, although a new obverse, by Jamie Franki, was substituted; as of the end of FY 2013, it cost more than nine cents to produce a nickel. The silver half disme was one of the denominations prescribed by the Mint Act of 1792; the first pieces under federal authority were half dimes, struck in 1792 in the cellar of John Harper, a saw maker. The dies were engraved by Adam Eckfeldt, who a half-century recalled that the silver for the half dimes was supplied by President George Washington, that the 1,500 coins struck from the bullion were given to Washington's Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, for distribution to important people, both in the US and overseas. By legend, President Washington supplied silverware from his home, Mount Vernon, to provide bullion for the coins.
In his annual message to Congress in late 1792, Washington noted the ongoing construction of a mint building and stated: "There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them."In 1793, the newly established Philadelphia Mint began striking cents and half cents. Coinage of precious metal was delayed. In 1794, Congress lowered the chief coiner's bond to $5,000, the assayer's to $1,000. Subsequently, silver coinage began that year; the half dime was struck from 1794 until 1805, though none were dated 1798, 1799, or 1804. By 1804, silver US coins were exported, as they could be exchanged at par in the West Indies with heavier Spanish coins, which were imported as bullion and deposited at the Mint for melting and restriking. In response, in 1804 the US stopped striking silver dollars. In 1807, mint Director Robert Patterson in a letter explained to Jefferson "nearly the whole of our Silver Bullion come through the Banks, it is seldom that they will consent to take any coin less than half dollars."Beginning in 1829, the silver five-cent piece was again struck.
In 1837, the half dime's obverse design changed from one by William Kneass, depicting a bust of Liberty, to one that featured a seated Liberty by Christian Gobrecht. In 1851, it ceased to be the smallest US silver coin; the Civil War caused most American coins to vanish from circulation, with the gap filled by such means as merchant tokens, encased postage stamps, United States fractional currency, issued in denominations as low as three cents. Although specie was hoarded or exported, the copper-nickel cent the only base metal denomination being struck vanished. In 1864, Congress began the process of restoring coins to circulation by abolishing the three-cent note and authorizing bronze cents and two-cent pieces, with low intrinsic values, to be struck; these new coins proved popular, though the two-cent piece soon faded from circulation. On March 3, 1865, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Mint to strike three-cent pieces of 75% copper and 25% nickel. In 1864, Congress authorized a third series of fractional currency notes.
The five-cent note was to bear a depiction of "Clark", but Congress was appalled when the issue came out not with a portrait of William Clark, the explorer, but Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau. According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, Congress's "immediate infuriated response was to pass a law retiring the five-cent denomination, another to forbid portrayal of any living person on federal coins or currency." Clark kep
A pattern coin is a coin which has not been approved for release, produced to evaluate a proposed coin design. They are off-metal strike, to proof standard or piedforts. Many Coin collectors study pattern coins because of their historical importance. Many of the world's most valuable coins are pattern coins; the first English coin that can be identified with certainty is a groat worth fourpence. This piece, an example of, illustrated and sold in the Dodsley Cuff sale of the mid-19th century, had crowns in place of the usual three pellets in each quarter of the reverse. Patterns are identifiable and exist in larger numbers from the reign of Elizabeth I onwards; the experimental base metal issues of all coinage prior to the mid-18th century have been well preserved. Boulton's mint in Soho produced large quantities of patterns, which were supplemented by Taylor some fifty or so years from the same dies. After the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, discussion arose over what sort of currency should be adopted in the United States.
At the time, people in North America relied upon a mixture of foreign coins, none of which were struck to a consistent standard, making day to day financial transactions difficult. In 1783, Congress resolved to create a mint, tasking Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris with developing a plan for a system of coinage; the first coins struck by the United States – the Nova Constellatio patterns – were made to illustrate this plan. In 1792 the United States Mint opened in Philadelphia. In that year several more patterns were created, including the half dime known as a "half disme", it is believed that c. 1,500 pieces were struck as patterns, that these patterns themselves entered circulation during the next decade. Over the next 40 years, more patterns were created but there is little information known about these pieces. Technically, these coins were not patterns but rather off-metal strikes, with the coins struck in a different metal than those destined for general use in circulation. An example is an 1807 Half Eagle.
Starting in 1836, more patterns were created by the United States Mint in Philadelphia. These consisted of several types of patterns: Real pattern coins for proposed coinage Off-metal strikes Transitional pieces Fantasy piecesOne example of a pattern coin for proposed coinage is the half-union, a gold pattern coin with a face value of 50 U. S. dollars, minted in 1877 and weighed 2.5 ounces. The U. S. Mint deemed the idea of a 2.5-ounce gold coin infeasible, only two were minted. Transitional pieces are patterns dated before coins with the new design went into circulation; these were produced during final stage of the pattern process, used to present the newly adopted design to the public. One famous example is the 1856 Flying Eagle cent, although that coin has been and incorrectly believed to be regular issue due to its high mintage for collectors. Fantasy pieces include many struck in the 1860s and 1870s as patterns and sold to numismatists for the sole purpose of raising cash for the mint; this practice ended in the 1880s, when the U.
S. Mint enforced regulations to prevent the sale of pattern coins; the U. S. Mint experiments with new coinage such as when silver was removed from coin designs; the Mint began using dies with Martha Washington for trial strikings, since they would not be confused with real circulating money since they do not resemble money. Thus, no restrictions exist on the sale of Martha Washington pieces. Mint-produced modern patterns are rare, with only a few pieces existing in private collections; the United States mint has placed restrictions on the sale of modern patterns that do resemble coins, such as the 1974 aluminum cent. One of the most expansive collections of American pattern coins is the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection housed at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Pattern coins of France and of French-speaking countries such as Monaco are described by the French term essai; the essai coins of New Hebrides are of interest to collectors of British Commonwealth coinage, as New Hebrides gained independence in 1980 as the Republic of Vanuatu.
The word essai is found inscribed on the pattern coins of Namibia along with the German word Probe. Specimen banknote Specimen stamp Colombian Patterns by Guillermo Granados
The Eisenhower dollar is a one-dollar coin issued by the United States Mint from 1971 to 1978. The coin depicts President Dwight D. Eisenhower on the obverse, a stylized image honoring the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon mission on the reverse, with both sides designed by Frank Gasparro. In 1965, because of rises in bullion prices, the Mint began to strike copper-nickel clad coins instead of silver. No dollar coins had been issued in thirty years, but beginning in 1969, legislators sought to reintroduce a dollar coin into commerce. After Eisenhower died that March, there were a number of proposals to honor him with the new coin. While these bills commanded wide support, enactment was delayed by a dispute over whether the new coin should be in base metal or 40% silver. In 1970, a compromise was reached to strike the Eisenhower dollar in base metal for circulation, in 40% silver as a collectible. President Richard Nixon, who had served as vice president under Eisenhower, signed legislation authorizing mintage of the new coin on December 31, 1970.
Although the collector's pieces sold well, the new dollars failed to circulate to any degree, except in and around Nevada casinos, where they took the place of issued tokens. There are no dollars dated 1975. Beginning in 1977, the Mint sought to replace the Eisenhower dollar with a smaller-sized piece. Congress authorized the Susan B. Anthony dollar, struck beginning in 1979, but that coin failed to circulate. Given their modest cost and the short length of the series, complete sets of Eisenhower dollars are becoming more popular among coin collectors; the silver dollar had never been a popular coin, circulating little except in the West. The Peace dollar, the last circulating dollar made of silver, was not struck after 1935, in most years in the quarter century after that, the bullion value of a silver dollar did not exceed 70 cents. In the early 1960s, silver prices rose, the huge stocks of silver dollars in the hands of banks and the government were obtained by the public through the redemption of silver certificates.
This caused shortages of silver dollars in the western states where the pieces circulated, interests there sought the issuance of more dollars. On August 3, 1964, Congress passed legislation providing for the striking of 45 million silver dollars; this legislation was enacted when coins vanished from circulation as the price of silver rose past $1.29 per ounce, making silver dollars worth more as bullion than as currency. The new pieces were intended to be used at Nevada casinos and elsewhere in the West where "hard money" was popular. Numismatic periodicals complained; the law had been passed at the urging of the Senate Majority Leader, Mike Mansfield, who represented a state that used silver dollars. Despite the efforts of Mint Director Eva Adams and her staff to persuade him, Senator Mansfield refused to consider any cancellation or delay, on May 12, 1965 the Denver Mint began striking 1964-D Peace dollars—the Mint had obtained congressional authorization to continue striking 1964-dated coins into 1965.
A public announcement of the new pieces was made on May 15, 1965, only to be met with a storm of objections. Both the public and many congressmen saw the issue as a poor use of Mint resources at a time of severe coin shortages, which would only benefit coin dealers. On May 24, one day before a hastily called congressional hearing, Adams announced that the pieces were deemed trial strikes, never intended for circulation; the Mint stated that 316,076 pieces had been struck. To ensure that there would be no repetition, Congress inserted a provision in the Coinage Act of 1965 forbidding the coinage of silver dollars for five years; that act removed silver from the dime and quarter, reduced the silver content of the half dollar to 40%. In 1969, Nixon administration Mint Director Mary Brooks sought the reissuance of the dollar coin. By this time, rising bullion prices threatened the continued use of silver in the Kennedy half dollar, but Brooks hoped to maintain the dollar as a silver coin. Brooks' proposal for a new silver dollar was opposed by the chairman of the House Banking Committee, Wright Patman, persuaded, against his better judgment, by Nixon's predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, to support the continued use of silver in the half dollar.
On March 28, 1969, former president and World War II general Dwight D. Eisenhower died. Soon after, New Jersey Representative Florence Dwyer, like Eisenhower, a Republican, suggested that the proposed dollar coin bear his likeness, she spoke to Democratic Missouri Representative Leonor Sullivan, who agreed that the dollar should bear a portrait of Eisenhower as "equal time" to the half dollar, which bore the likeness of Democratic president John F. Kennedy. A bill was filed by Connecticut Congressman Robert N. Giaimo to authorize an Eisenhower dollar, to be struck without silver content; the Joint Commission on the Coinage, drawing members from the administration and from Congress, including Giaimo, recommended the dollar in spring 1969. It called for the elimination of silver from the half dollar, for the transfer from the Treasury to the General Services Administration of quantities of rare silver dollars, so they could be sold. Giaimo noted that the coin would be useful in casinos, which were striking their own tokens in the absence of cir
Susan B. Anthony dollar
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1979 to 1981, when production was suspended due to poor public acceptance, again in 1999. Intended as a replacement for the unpopular and cumbersome Eisenhower dollar, the new smaller one dollar coin went through testing of several shapes and compositions, but all were opposed by the vending machine industry, a powerful lobby affecting coin legislation. A round planchet with an eleven-sided inner border was chosen for the smaller dollar; the original design for the smaller dollar coin depicted an allegorical representation of Liberty on the obverse, but organizations and individuals in Congress called for the coin to depict a real woman. Several proposals were submitted, social reformer Susan B. Anthony was selected as the design subject, much to the disappointment of most numismatists who preferred the original classic Liberty-head design; the reverse design of the Eisenhower dollar was retained, an engraving of the Apollo 11 mission insignia showing an eagle landing on the Moon.
Both sides of the coin, as well as the rejected Liberty design, were created by Frank Gasparro, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. One half billion coins were struck in anticipation of considerable public demand, but the Anthony dollar was poorly received, in part because of confusion caused by its similarity in size and metallic composition to the quarter. Despite its poor reception, the coins began seeing use in vending machines and mass transit systems, depleting the surplus by the late 1990s. In 1997, Congress passed a law authorizing the mintage of a new gold-colored one-dollar coin depicting Sacagawea, but production could not begin enough to meet demand; as a stopgap measure, until the new Sacagawea dollar coin could be issued, the Anthony dollar was struck again in 1999 after an eighteen year hiatus. Special coins for sale to collectors were struck in proof finish through the run of the Susan B. Anthony dollar, some minting variations are valuable to collectors. However, most circulation strikes remained in government stockpiles for several years after minting, so many of the coins are available in uncirculated grades, the premium over face value is minimal.
In the early 1960s, as the price of silver rose, Treasury Department vaults were depleted of silver dollars by the public. No silver dollars had been minted in the United States since 1935, a shortage developed in the Western United States in areas in which gambling was common; as a result, Congress voted to authorize production of 45 million new silver Peace dollars on August 3, 1964. However, the move drew strong condemnation from critics and the public who believed that the issuance of the coins was a waste of resources and influenced by special interests, that they would be removed from circulation. A total of 316,076 1964-D Peace dollars were struck; the coins were melted soon afterwards. And the Coinage Act of 1965, enacted on July 23, 1965, forbade all production of dollar coins for a period of five years. On May 12, 1969, the Joint Commission on the Coinage, a panel of 24 individuals organized by the 1965 Coinage Act, recommended resumption of dollar coin production following a study conducted by a Congressional task force.
On October 1 and 3, 1969, a hearing before the U. S. House of Representatives discussed the proposed legislation to authorize the coin, in a copper-nickel clad composition, with the same 1.5-inch diameter as former silver dollars. A provision was added requiring the coin to depict former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who had died earlier that year, on the obverse and a design "emblematic of the symbolic eagle of Apollo 11 landing on the moon" on the reverse. President Richard Nixon signed the bill into law on December 31, 1970. Both the obverse and reverse designs were created by Frank Gasparro, the Chief Engraver of the United States Mint; as with previous dollar coins, the new Eisenhower dollar, proved unpopular with the public, few of the coins were found in circulation. In 1976, the Research Triangle Institute conducted a survey of United States coinage. Among other things, they recommended the half dollar, which saw little use, be eliminated from production, the size of the dollar be reduced.
Their report read in part: A conveniently-sized dollar coin would broaden the capabilities of consumers for cash transactions with machines. Members of the automatic merchandising industry have expressed a strong interest in a smaller dollar, indicating their willingness to adapt their machinery to its use. Numismatic historian David L. Ganz suggested that Eisenhower, a Republican, was chosen as a means of balancing the half dollar, depicting Democrat John F. Kennedy. In a 1977 paper, he agreed with the findings of the Institute, suggesting that both coins should be eliminated. Treasury officials desired the small dollar coin as a cost-saving measure; the Mint began preparation for the reduced-diameter dollar coin in 1976. Although no legislation had yet been introduced, Treasury officials anticipated a positive reception from Congress, the coin had near unanimous support from the Mint and the vending machine industry, an influential lobby in the area of coin design and creation. In 1977, Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal publicly endorsed a smaller dollar coin and suggested that an allegorical representation of Liberty would be a sui
Half dollar (United States coin)
The half dollar, sometimes referred to as the half for short, is a United States coin worth 50 cents, or one half of a dollar, is the largest United States circulating coin produced in both size and weight, being 1.205 inches in diameter and.085 inches in thickness, is twice the weight of the quarter. The current half dollar, the Kennedy half dollar, depicts the profile of President John F. Kennedy on the obverse and the Seal of the President of the United States on the reverse, but the design has undergone a number of changes throughout its history. Though not used today, half-dollar coins have a long history of heavy use alongside other denominations of coinage, but have faded out of general circulation for many reasons, they were produced in large quantities until the year 2002, when the U. S. Mint ceased production of the coin for general circulation; as a result of its decreasing usage, a large amount of pre-2002 half dollars remain in Federal Reserve vaults, prompting the change in production.
Presently, collector half dollars can be ordered directly from the U. S. Mint, pre-2002 circulation half dollars may be ordered through most U. S. banks. Half-dollar coins saw heavy use in the first half of the 20th century. For many years, they were used by gamblers at casinos and other venues with slot machines. Rolls of half dollars may still be kept on hand in cardrooms for games requiring 50-cent antes or bring-in bets, for dealers to pay winning naturals in blackjack, or where the house collects a rake in increments. Additionally, some concession vendors at sporting events distribute half-dollar coins as change for convenience. By the early 1960s, the rising price of silver neared the point where the bullion value of U. S. silver coins would exceed face value. In 1965, the U. S. introduced layered-composition coins made of a copper core laminated between two cupronickel outer faces. The silver content of dimes and quarters was eliminated, but the Kennedy half-dollar composition contained silver from 1965 to 1970.
With its reduced silver content, the half dollar attracted widespread interest from speculators and collectors, that interest led to widespread hoarding of half dollars dated 1970 and earlier. By the time that the coin's composition was changed to match that of the clad dimes and quarters in 1971, businesses and the public began losing interest in the half dollar and the coin began to disappear from circulation during the 1970s. Merchants stopped ordering half dollars from their banks, many banks stopped ordering half dollars from the Federal Reserve, the U. S. mints reduced production of the coins. Since 2002, half dollars have been minted only for collectors, due to large Federal Reserve and government inventories on hand of pre-2001 pieces; when the reserve supply runs low, the mint will again fill orders for circulation half dollars. It took about 18 years for the large inventory stockpile of a similar low-demand circulation coin, the $1 coin, to reach reserve levels low enough to again produce circulation pieces.
Modern-date half dollars can be purchased in proof sets, mint sets and bags from the U. S. Mint, existing inventory circulation pieces can be ordered through most U. S. banks. All collector issues since 2001 have had much lower mintages than in previous years. Although intended only for collectors, these post-2001 half dollars sometimes find their way into circulation, with examples occurring in change or as payment for small transactions. On December 1, 1794, the first half dollars 5,300 pieces, were delivered. Another 18,000 were produced in January 1795 using dies of 1794, to save the expense of making new ones. Another 30,000 pieces were struck by the end of 1801; the coin had the Heraldic Eagle, based on the Great Seal of the United States on the reverse. 150,000 were minted in 1804 but struck with dies from 1803, so no 1804 specimens exist, though there were some pieces dated 1805 that carried a "5 over 4" overdate. In 1838, half-dollar dies were produced in the Philadelphia Mint for the newly established New Orleans Mint, ten test samples of the 1838 half dollars were made at the main Philadelphia mint.
These samples were put into the mint safe along with other rarities like the 1804 silver dollar. The dies were shipped to New Orleans for the regular production of 1838 half dollars. However, New Orleans production of the half dollars was delayed due to the priority of producing half dimes and dimes; the large press for half-dollar production was not used in New Orleans until January 1839 to produce 1838 half dollars, but the reverse die could not be properly secured, only ten samples were produced before the dies failed. Rufus Tyler, chief coiner of the New Orleans mint, wrote to Mint Director Patterson of the problem on February 25, 1839; the Orleans mint samples all had a double stamped reverse as a result of this production problem and they showed dramatic signs of die rust, neither of which are present on the Philadelphia produced test samples. While eight Philadelphia minted samples survive to this day, there is only one known New Orleans minted specimen with the tell-tale double stamped reverse and die rust.
This is the famous coin that Rufus Tyler presented to Alexander Dallas Bache in the summer of 1839 and was purchased in June 1894 by A. G. Heaton, the father of mint mark coin collecting; the 1838 Philadelphia-produced half dollars are rare, with two separate specimens having sold for $632,500 in Heritage auctions in 2005 and 2008 respectively. Th
Commemorative coins are coins that were issued to commemorate some particular event or issue. Most world commemorative coins were issued from the 1960s onward, although there are numerous examples of commemorative coins of earlier date; such coins have a distinct design with reference to the occasion. Many coins of this category serve as collectors items only, although some countries are issuing commemorative coins for regular circulation. Vast numbers of thematic coins are continuously being issued, highlighting ancient monuments or sites, historical personalities, endangered species etc. While such thematic coins may or may not commemorate any particular event or jubilee, the distinction between commemorative coins and thematic coins is blurred or ignored. Coins can be seen as being of one of three types: Regular issue coinage are the normal coins intended to be used in commerce every day and are issued with the same design for several years, e.g. euro coins. Circulating commemoratives are intended to be used for commerce, but the design will only be issued for a limited time, is intended to draw some attention to a specific event or person.
Examples include the €2 commemorative coins, or U. S. 50 State Quarters. Non-circulating legal tender are coins which are legal tender, thus can in theory be used to purchase goods or services, but are not intended to be used in such a manner. Rather, they are intended to be used only as souvenirs, are produced in gold or silver with a proof finish; the coins issued by any state have always reflected the current political or economic situation. Many ancient and pre-modern coins commemorate events in contemporary times. For instance, Roman coins have references to military campaigns and the defeat of foreign powers; these reverse types symbolically represent the subordination of conquered territories to Roman authority. Such coins are examples of ancient political propaganda; the Roman Empire may be represented by a proud warrior'raising' an undersized figure, representing the defeated enemy. Throughout history, coins have been issued on special occasions, without citing that occasion explicitly.
In some cases, emergency money have been issued under unfavourable conditions, such as a city under siege. Such emergency coins were issued in Vienna in 1529, while the city was besieged by the troops of the Ottoman Empire. Due to the conditions at the time, such coins are minted on square flans, rather than round ones. European square coins of this era are known by their German name'klippe'. Coins might be issued with the specific purpose of financing a military campaign, or for the payment of tribute or war indemnity by a feudal lord to his sovereign. During recent centuries, specially prepared coins have been issued to proclaim the coronation of a new monarch; such coins are known as'largesse' coins. This type of coins were issued in India during the Mughal era, in Europe in the age of absolutism. In Europe, such coins were scattered from the royal chariot, to achieve attention and applause from the public. In Sweden, coins of this type were issued as late as 1873. During the era of the formation of the European nation states, the issuance of special coins explicitly commemorating various events became common.
These coins were devised to establish a public notion of nationhood, to honor the ruling monarch and his dynasty. During the economically exhaustive Napoleonic wars, a one sixth rigsdaler was issued in Denmark from voluntary contributions from the public, intended to finance the creation of a new fleet. Another notable coin is the Prussian thaler of 1871, commemorating the victory of the Franco-Prussian war, opening the gates for the Prussian king to be crowned as Emperor of the unified German nation. After the unification of Germany, some German states continued issuing separate coins on special occasions, such as the jubilee of a ruling monarch; the issuance of these royal jubilee coins became common throughout Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century. In some cases, these became collector items at the time of their minting. Before World War II, commemorative coins were always made of precious metals; the base metal coins were not considered appropriate for, or worthy of, honoring the nation or the ruling dynasty.
However, during the 20th century, the use of precious metals for circulating currency became scarce. World War I and the world economic crisis of the 1930s brought about temporary or permanent abolition of the convertibility of bank notes to silver and gold coins; the issuance of precious metal coins became restricted, definitively abandoned about 1970. While the commemoratives of these decades continued to be issued predominantly in precious metals, their use as circulating currency became scarce or ceased entirely. Thus, the commemoratives developed into a separate class of coins with no recognisable link to the coins and notes used in everyday transactions; this class of coins were collectors items, or in some cases objects for economic investment. With the ascendance of coin collecting as a hobby for larger numbers of people in the decades after World War II, commemorative coins came to be seen as treasured items, their beauty and impressive appearance appealing to many. From this point in time, we can distinguish quite between two classes of commemorative coins.
Apart from the non-circulating medal-like coins referred to above, increasing numbers of circulating base metal commemorative coins have been issued in rece
Presidential $1 Coin Program
The Presidential $1 Coin Program was the release by the United States Mint of $1 coins with engravings of relief portraits of U. S. presidents on the obverse and the Statue of Liberty on the reverse. From 2007 to 2011, presidential $1 coins were minted for circulation in large numbers, resulting in a large stockpile of unused $1 coins. From 2012 to 2016, new coins in the series were minted only for collectors. S. 1047, the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, was introduced on May 17, 2005, by Senator John E. Sununu with over 70 co-sponsors, it was reported favorably out of the U. S. Senate Committee on Banking and Urban Affairs without amendment on July 29, 2005; the Senate passed it with a technical amendment, by unanimous consent on November 18, 2005. The House of Representatives passed it on December 13, 2005; the engrossed bill was presented to president George W. Bush on December 15, 2005, he signed it into law on December 22, 2005; the program began on January 1, 2007, like the 50 State Quarters program, was not scheduled to end until every eligible subject was honored.
The program was to issue coins featuring each of four presidents per year on the obverse, issuing one for three months before moving on to the next president in chronological order by term in office. To be eligible, a President must have been deceased for at least two years prior to the time of minting; the U. S. Mint called it the Presidential $1 Coin Program; the reverse of the coins bears the Statue of Liberty, the inscription "$1" and the inscription "United States of America". Inscribed along the edge of the coin is the year of minting or issuance of the coin, the mint mark, 13 stars, the legend E Pluribus Unum in the following arrangement: ★★★★★★★★★★ 2009 D ★★★ E PLURIBUS UNUM; the legend "Liberty" is absent from the coin altogether, since the decision was made that the image of the Statue of Liberty on the reverse of the coin was sufficient to convey the message of liberty. The text of the act does not specify the color of the coins, but per the U. S. Mint "the specifications will be identical to those used for the current Golden dollar".
The George Washington $1 coin was first available to the public on February 15, 2007, in honor of Presidents' Day, observed on February 19. This marked the first time since the St. Gaudens Double Eagle that the United States had issued a coin with edge lettering for circulation. Edge-lettered coins date back to the 1790s; the process was started to discourage the shaving of gold coin edges, a practice, used to cheat payees. In December 2007, Congress passed H. R. 2764, moving "In God We Trust" to either the reverse of the coins. This is the same bill that created a program that included quarters for Washington, D. C. Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, the U. S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa; the act had been introduced because of the failure of the Sacagawea $1 coin to gain widespread circulation in the United States. The act sympathized with the need of the nation's private sector for a $1 coin, expected that the appeal of changing the design would increase the public demand for new coins; the program was intended to help educate the public about the nation's presidents and their history.
In the event that the coins did not catch on with the general public, the Mint hoped that collectors would be as interested in the dollars as they were with the State Quarters, which generated about $4.6 billion in seigniorage between January 1999 and April 2005, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. Unlike the State Quarter program and the Westward Journey nickel series, which suspended the issuance of the current design during those programs, the act directed the Mint to continue to issue Sacagawea dollar coins during the presidential series; the law states. Furthermore, the Sacagawea design is required to continue; these requirements were added at the behest of the North Dakota congressional delegation to ensure that Sacagawea, whom North Dakotans consider to be one of their own remains on the dollar coin. However, Federal Reserve officials indicated to Congress that "if the Presidential $1 Coin Program does not stimulate substantial transactional demand for dollar coins, the requirement that the Mint nonetheless produce Sacagawea dollars would result in costs to the taxpayer without any offsetting benefits."
In that event, the Federal Reserve indicated that it would "strongly recommend that Congress reassess the one-third requirement." The one-third requirement was changed to one-fifth by the Native American $1 Coin Act, passed on September 20, 2007. Previous versions of the act called for removing from circulation dollar coins issued before the Sacagawea dollar, most notably the Susan B. Anthony dollar, but the version of the act which became law directs the Secretary of the Treasury to study the matter and report back to Congress; the act required federal government agencies, businesses operating on federal property, federally funded transit systems to accept and dispense dollar coins by January 2008, to post signs indicating that they do so. On March 8, 2007, the United States Mint announced, that on February 15, 2007, an unknown number of George Washington