United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively. S. government debt instruments. The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes; the first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration.
His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse. The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer; the history of the Department of the Treasury began in the turmoil of the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress at Philadelphia deliberated the crucial issue of financing a war of independence against Great Britain. The Congress had no power to levy and collect taxes, nor was there a tangible basis for securing funds from foreign investors or governments; the delegates resolved to issue paper money in the form of bills of credit, promising redemption in coin on faith in the revolutionary cause. On June 22, 1775—only a few days after the Battle of Bunker Hill—Congress issued $2 million in bills. On July 29, 1775, the Second Continental Congress assigned the responsibility for the administration of the revolutionary government's finances to joint Continental treasurers George Clymer and Michael Hillegas.
The Congress stipulated. To ensure proper and efficient handling of the growing national debt in the face of weak economic and political ties between the colonies, the Congress, on February 17, 1776, designated a committee of five to superintend the Treasury, settle accounts, report periodically to the Congress. On April 1, a Treasury Office of Accounts, consisting of an Auditor General and clerks, was established to facilitate the settlement of claims and to keep the public accounts for the government of the United Colonies. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the newborn republic as a sovereign nation was able to secure loans from abroad. Despite the infusion of foreign and domestic loans, the united colonies were unable to establish a well-organized agency for financial administration. Michael Hillegas was first called Treasurer of the United States on May 14, 1777; the Treasury Office was reorganized three times between 1778 and 1781. The $241.5 million in paper Continental bills devalued rapidly.
By May 1781, the dollar collapsed at a rate of from 500 to 1000 to 1 against hard currency. Protests against the worthless money swept the colonies, giving rise to the expression "not worth a Continental". Robert Morris was designated Superintendent of Finance in 1781 and restored stability to the nation's finances. Morris, a wealthy colonial merchant, was nicknamed "the Financier" because of his reputation for procuring funds or goods on a moment's notice, his staff included a comptroller, a treasurer, a register, auditors, who managed the country's finances through 1784, when Morris resigned because of ill health. The treasury board, consisting of three commissioners, continued to oversee the finances of the confederation of former colonies until September 1789; the First Congress of the United States was called to convene in New York on March 4, 1789, marking the beginning of government under the Constitution. On September 2, 1789, Congress created a permanent institution for the management of government finances:Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall be a Department of Treasury, in which shall be the following officers, namely: a Secretary of the Treasury, to be deemed head of the department.
Alexander Hamilton took the oath of office as the first Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789. Hamilton had served as George Washington's aide-de-camp during the Revolution and was of great importance in the ratification of the Constitution; because of his financial and managerial acumen, Hamilton was a logical choice for solving the problem of the new nation's heavy war debt. Hamilton's first official act was to submit a report to Congress in which he laid the foundation for the nation's financial health. To the surprise of many legislators, he insisted upon federal assumption and dollar-for-dollar repayment of the country's $75 million debt in order to revitalize the public credit: "he debt of the United States was the price of liberty; the faith of America has been pledged for it, with solemnities that give peculiar force to the obligation." Hami
Coin collecting is the collecting of coins or other forms of minted legal tender. Coins of interest to collectors include those that circulated for only a brief time, coins with mint errors and beautiful or significant pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics, in that the latter is the systematic study of currency. A coin's grade is a main determinant of its value. For a tiered fee, a third party certification service like PCGS or NGC will grade, authenticate and encapsulate most U. S. and foreign coins. Over 80 million coins have been certified by the four largest services. People have hoarded coins for their bullion value for as long. However, the collection of coins for their artistic value was a development. Evidence from the archaeological and historical record of Ancient Rome and medieval Mesopotamia indicates that coins were collected and catalogued by scholars and state treasuries, it seems probable that individual citizens collected old, exotic or commemorative coins as an affordable, portable form of art.
According to Suetonius in his De vita Caesarum, written in the first century CE, the emperor Augustus sometimes presented old and exotic coins to friends and courtiers during festivals and other special occasions. Contemporary coin collecting and appreciation began around the fourteenth century. During the Renaissance, it became a fad among some members of the privileged classes kings and queens; the Italian scholar and poet Petrarch is credited with being the pursuit's first and most famous aficionado. Following his lead, many European kings and other nobility kept collections of ancient coins; some notable collectors were Pope Boniface VIII, Emperor Maximilian I of the Holy Roman Empire, Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand I, Henry IV of France and Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, who started the Berlin Coin Cabinet. Because only the wealthy could afford the pursuit, in Renaissance times coin collecting became known as the "Hobby of Kings."During the 17th and 18th centuries coin collecting remained a pursuit of the well-to-do.
But rational, Enlightenment thinking led to a more systematic approach to study. Numismatics as an academic discipline emerged in these centuries at the same time as coin collecting became a leisure pursuit of a growing middle class, eager to prove their wealth and sophistication. During the 19th and 20th centuries, coin collecting increased further in popularity; the market for coins expanded to include not only antique coins, but foreign or otherwise exotic currency. Coin shows, trade associations, regulatory bodies emerged during these decades; the first international convention for coin collectors was held 15–18 August 1962, in Detroit and was sponsored by the American Numismatic Association and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. Attendance was estimated at 40,000; as one of the oldest and most popular world pastimes, coin collecting is now referred to as the "King of Hobbies". The motivations for collecting vary from one person to another; the most common type of collectors are the hobbyists, who amass a collection purely for the pleasure of it with no real expectation of profit.
Another frequent reason for purchasing coins is as an investment. As with stamps, precious metals or other commodities, coin prices are periodical based on supply and demand. Prices drop for coins that are not in long-term demand, increase along with a coin's perceived or intrinsic value. Investors buy with the expectation that the value of their purchase will increase over the long term; as with all types of investment, the principle of caveat emptor applies and study is recommended before buying. As with most collectibles, a coin collection does not produce income until it is sold, may incur costs in the interim. Coin hoarders may be similar to investors in the sense that they accumulate coins for potential long-term profit. However, unlike investors, they do not take into account aesthetic considerations; this is most common with coins. Speculators, be they amateurs or commercial buyers purchase coins in bulk and act with the expectation of short-term profit, they may wish to take advantage of a spike in demand for a particular coin.
The speculator might hope to sell at profit within weeks or months. Speculators may buy common circulation coins for their intrinsic metal value. Coins without collectible value may be melted down or distributed as bullion for commercial purposes, they purchase coins that are composed of rare or precious metals, or coins that have a high purity of a specific metal. A final type of collector is the inheritor, an accidental collector who acquires coins from another person as part of an inheritance; the inheritor type may not have an interest in or know anything about numismatics at the time of the acquisition. Casual coin collectors begin the hobby by saving notable coins found by chance; these coins may be pocket change left from an international trip or an old coin found in circulation. If the enthusiasm of the novice increases over time, random coins found in circulation are not enough to satisfy their interest; the hobbyist may trade coins in a coin club or buy coins from dealers or mints. Their collection takes on a more specific focus.
Some enthusiasts become generalists and accumulate
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874; this building, the Old United States Mint known affectionately as The Granite Lady, is one of the few that survived the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It served until 1937. Within the first year of its operation, the San Francisco mint turned $4 million in gold bullion into coins; the second building, completed in 1874, was designed by Alfred B. Mullett in a conservative Greek Revival style with a sober Doric order; the building had a central pedimented portico flanked by projecting wings in an E-shape. The building sat on a concrete and granite foundation, designed to thwart tunneling into its vaults, which at the time of the 1906 fire held $300 million a third of the United States' gold reserves. Heroic efforts by Superintendent of the Mint, Frank A. Leach, his men preserved the building and the bullion that backed the nation's currency.
The mint resumed operation soon thereafter, continuing until 1937. In 1961 the Old Mint, as it had become known, was designated a National Historic Landmark, it became a California Historical Landmark in 1974. The given name of "The Granite Lady" is somewhat of a misnomer as most of the building is made from sandstone. While the base/basement of the building is made of granite, the entire external and upper stories are made of sandstone; the Granite Lady was a marketing term given in the 1970s. The Old Mint was open to visitors until 1993. In 2003 the federal government sold the structure to the City of San Francisco for one dollar—an 1879 silver dollar struck at the mint— for use as a historical museum to be called the San Francisco Museum at the Mint. In the fall of 2005, ground was broken for renovations that would turn the central court into a glass-enclosed galleria. In 2006 Congress created the San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Coin, the first coin to honor a United States mint; the first phase of renovations were completed in 2011.
In 2014, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society began raising money for the second phase, which would have included permanent exhibitions. In 2015, the City of San Francisco looked for a new tenant to renovate and program the space with Activate San Francisco Events being selected as an interim tenant; as the City's 2016 public re-opening event, continuing the tradition of a similar event from past years, on the first weekend in March, the Old Mint hosted a "San Francisco History Days" event with over sixty participating historic organizations. Until a new tenant is found, the Old Mint will continue to be used for special events, some open to the public. In April 2016, the California Historical Society agreed to undertake the restoration of the building and its preservation as a public space; the new Mint was opened in 1937. Beginning in 1955, circulating coinage from San Francisco was suspended for 13 years. In 1968, it took over most proof coinage production from the Philadelphia Mint, but continued striking a supplemental circulating coinage from 1968 through 1974.
From 1975 to 2012, the San Francisco Mint has been used only for proof coinage, with the exception of the Susan B. Anthony dollar from 1979–81 and a portion of the mintage of cents in the early 1980s; the dollars bear a mintmark of an "S", but the cents are otherwise indistinguishable from those minted at Philadelphia. In 2012, the San Francisco mint started to mint circulation strike quarters in the America the Beautiful quarter series, marked with an "S" mintmark and only issued for collectors. From 1962 to 1988, the San Francisco Mint was an assay office; the San Francisco Mint only admits visitors on rare exception. On May 15, 1987, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mint, a limited number of people were allowed to tour the facility; this tour was advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, with a phone number to call to reserve a spot. In 2006, the United States Mint released a gold five dollar commemorative coin which commemorates the 100th year after the old San Francisco mint survived an earthquake.
The mint played a part in the city's recovery after the earthquake, providing shelter for many as it was one of the few buildings left standing. The coin was minted as both a proof coin and an uncirculated coin, is no longer available directly from the United States Mint. On June 15, 2006 President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109-230, legislation authorizing the production of the 2006 San Francisco $5 commemorative gold coin as well as its $1 silver counterpart; the production of the $5 denomination was limited to a maximum mintage of 100,000 coins, but separate mintage figures for each of the proof and uncirculated coins have not yet been released. The $1 silver version was limited to only 500,000 coins, both in proof and uncirculated products, but distinct mintage figures for both products has not been stated; the obverse was sculpted by Joseph Menna. Features Coin Finishes: proof, uncirculated Maximum Mintage: 100,000 - The final mintages were 16,938 uncirculated, 47,275 proof. United States Mint Facility: San Francisco Public Law: 109-230 In 2006, t
Abrasive blasting, more known as sandblasting, is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface or remove surface contaminants. A pressurised fluid compressed air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the blasting material; the first abrasive blasting process was patented by Benjamin Chew Tilghman on 18 October 1870. There are several variants of the process; the most abrasive are shot sandblasting. Moderately abrasive variants include glass bead blasting and plastic media blasting with ground-up plastic stock or walnut shells and corncobs; some of these substances can cause anaphylactic shock to both passers by. A mild version is sodablasting. In addition, there are alternatives that are abrasive or nonabrasive, such as ice blasting and dry-ice blasting. Sand blasting is known as bead blasting and abrasive blasting, a generic term for the process of smoothing and cleaning a hard surface by forcing solid particles across that surface at high speeds.
Sandblasting can occur usually as a result of particles blown by wind causing aeolian erosion, or artificially, using compressed air. An artificial sandblasting process was patented by Benjamin Chew Tilghman on 18 October 1870. Sandblasting equipment consists of a chamber in which sand and air are mixed; the mixture travels through a hand-held nozzle to direct the particles toward the surface or work piece. Nozzles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Boron carbide is a popular material for nozzles. One of the original pioneers of the wet abrasive process was Norman Ashworth who found the advantages of using a wet process a strong alternative to dry blasting; the process is available in all conventional formats including hand cabinets, walk-in booths, automated production machinery and total loss portable blasting units. Advantages include the ability to use fine or coarse media with densities ranging from plastic to steel and the ability to use hot water and soap to allow simultaneous degreasing and blasting.
The reduction in dust makes it safer to use silicacious materials for blasting, or to remove hazardous material such as asbestos, radioactive or poisonous products. Process speeds are not as fast as conventional dry abrasive blasting when using the equivalent size and type of media, in part because the presence of water between the media and the substrate being processed creates a lubricating cushion that can protect both the surface and the media, reducing breakdown rates. Reduced impregnation of blasting material into the surface, dust reduction and the elimination of static cling can result in a clean surface; however wet blasting of mild steel will result in immediate or'flash' corrosion of the blasted steel substrate due to the presence of water. The lack of surface recontamination allows the use of single equipment for multiple blasting operations—e.g. Stainless steel and mild steel items can be processed in the same equipment with the same media without problems. Bead blasting is the process of removing surface deposits by applying fine glass beads at a high pressure without damaging the surface.
It is used to clean calcium deposits from pool tiles or any other surfaces, remove embedded fungus, brighten grout color. It is used in auto body work to remove paint. In removing paint for auto body work, bead blasting is preferred over sand blasting, as sand blasting tends to create a greater surface profile than bead blasting. Bead blasting is used in creating a uniform surface finish on machined parts, it is additionally used in cleaning mineral specimens, most of which have a Mohs hardness of 7 or less and would thus be damaged by sand. In wheel blasting, a spinning wheel propels the abrasive against an object, it is categorized as an airless blasting operation because there is no propellant used. A wheel machine is a high-efficiency blasting operation with recyclable abrasive. Specialized wheel blast machines propel plastic abrasive in a cryogenic chamber, is used for deflashing plastic and rubber components; the size of the wheel blast machine, the number and power of the wheels vary depending on the parts to be blasted as well as on the expected result and efficiency.
The first blast wheel was patented by Wheelabrator in 1932. Hydro blasting is not a form of abrasive blasting. Hydro-blasting known as water blasting, is used because it requires only one operator. In hydro-blasting, a pressured stream of water is used to remove old paint, chemicals, or buildup without damaging the original surface; this method is ideal for cleaning internal and external surfaces because the operator is able to send the stream of water into places that are difficult to reach using other methods. Another benefit of hydro-blasting is the ability to recapture and reuse the water, reducing waste and mitigating environmental impact. Micro-abrasive blasting is dry abrasive blasting process that uses small nozzles to deliver a fine stream of abrasive to a small part or a small area on a larger part; the area to be blasted is from about 1
Franklin half dollar
The Franklin half dollar is a coin, struck by the United States Mint from 1948 to 1963. The fifty-cent piece pictures Founding Father Benjamin Franklin on the obverse and the Liberty Bell on the reverse. A small eagle was placed to the right of the bell to fulfill the legal requirement that half dollars depict the figure of an eagle. Produced in 90 percent silver with a reeded edge, the coin was struck at the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints. At the end of April 2016 the metal value of the $0.50 coin was $6.48, an increase of 1300%. Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross had long admired Franklin, wanted him to be depicted on a coin. In 1947, she instructed her chief engraver, John R. Sinnock, to prepare designs for a Franklin half dollar. Sinnock's designs were based on his earlier work; the designs were completed by Gilroy Roberts. The Mint submitted the new designs to the Commission of Fine Arts for its advisory opinion; the Commission disliked the small eagle and felt that depicting the crack in the Liberty Bell would expose the coinage to jokes and ridicule.
Despite the Commission's disapproval, the Mint proceeded with Sinnock's designs. After the coins were released in April 1948, the Mint received accusations that Sinnock's initials "JRS" on the cutoff at Franklin's shoulder were a tribute to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. No change was made, with the Mint responding that the letters were the artist's initials; the coin was struck until 1963. Beginning in 1964 it was replaced by the Kennedy half dollar, issued in honor of the assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Though the coin is still legal tender, its value to collectors or as silver both exceed its face value. Mint Director Nellie Tayloe Ross had long been an admirer of Benjamin Franklin, wished to see him on a coin. In 1933, Sinnock had designed a medal featuring Franklin. Franklin had opposed putting portraits on coins. In a 1948 interview, Ross noted that Franklin only knew of living royalty on coins, would feel differently about a republic honoring a deceased founder. Indeed, Franklin might have been more upset at the reverse design: as numismatic writer Jonathan Tepper noted, "Had Benjamin Franklin known that he would be appearing on a half dollar with an eagle, he most would have been quite upset.
He detested the eagle, numismatic lore has it that he referred to it as a scavenger. Given the practical man that he was, Franklin proposed the wild turkey as our national bird." An 1890 statute forbade the replacement of a coin design without congressional action, unless it had been in service for 25 years, counting the year of first issuance. The Walking Liberty half dollar and Mercury dime had been first issued in 1916. Mint officials considered putting Franklin on the dime in 1941, but the project was shelved due to heavy demands on the Mint for coins as the United States entered World War II. During the war, the Mint contemplated adding one or more new denominations of coinage; the dime was redesigned in 1946 to depict fallen President Franklin Roosevelt, associated with the March of Dimes. The Walking Liberty design seemed old-fashioned to Mint officials, the only other coin being struck, eligible for replacement was the Lincoln cent. Abraham Lincoln remained a beloved figure, Ross did not want to be responsible for removing him from the coinage.
In 1947, Ross asked Sinnock to produce a design for a half dollar featuring Franklin. The chief engraver adapted his earlier work for the obverse, he had designed the medal from a bust of Franklin by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Sinnock based his design for the reverse on the 1926 commemorative half dollar for the sesquicentennial of American Independence. Numismatic writer Don Taxay discovered that Sinnock had based his Liberty Bell on a sketch by John Frederick Lewis. Sinnock died in May 1947, before finishing the reverse design, completed by the new chief engraver, Gilroy Roberts. Similar to Sinnock's work for the Roosevelt dime, the portrait is designed along simple lines, with Franklin depicted wearing a period suit; the small eagle on the reverse was added as an afterthought, when Mint officials realized that the Coinage Act of 1873 required one to be displayed on all coins of greater value than the dime. The Mint sought comments on the designs from the Commission of Fine Arts, provided with a lead striking of the obverse and a view of the reverse.
On December 1, 1947, Commission chairman Gilmore Clarke wrote to Ross saying that they had no objection to the obverse, in which they recognized Sinnock's "good workmanship". As for the reverse, The eagle shown on the model is so small as to be insignificant and hardly discernible when the model is reduced to the size of a coin; the Commission hesitate to approve the Liberty Bell visible. The Commission disapprove the designs. Numismatist Paul Green noted, "Over the years there would have been more puns and derogatory statements if there had been an
The Washington quarter is the present quarter dollar or 25-cent piece issued by the United States Mint. The coin was first struck in 1932; as the United States prepared to celebrate the 1932 bicentennial of the birth of its first president, George Washington, members of the bicentennial committee established by Congress sought a Washington half dollar. They wanted to displace; the committee had engaged sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser to design a commemorative medal, wanted her to adapt her design for the quarter. Although Fraser's work was supported by the Commission of Fine Arts and its chairman, Charles W. Moore, Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon chose a design by Flanagan, Mellon's successor, Ogden L. Mills, refused to disturb the decision; the new silver quarters entered circulation on August 1, 1932. A special reverse commemorating the United States Bicentennial was used in 1975 and 1976, with all pieces bearing the double date 1776–1976. Since 1999, the original eagle reverse has not been used.
The bust of Washington was made smaller beginning in 1999. On December 2, 1924, Congress created the United States George Washington Bicentennial Commission; the 200th anniversary of the birth of Washington, the first President of the United States, would occur in 1932, Congress wished to plan for the event well in advance. President Calvin Coolidge was ex officio chairman of the commission, which included government officials as well as prominent private citizens such as automobile manufacturer Henry Ford. In 1929, the Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, succeeded Coolidge both as president and in his commission role. By that time, the commission had become inactive, doing little after sending out an initial flurry of press releases. A new group, the George Washington Bicentennial Committee was established by Act of Congress in February 1930. Hoover was concerned about the large numbers of designs used for commemorative coins in the 1920s; when a commemorative coin bill was sent to him by Congress, Hoover vetoed it on April 21, 1930.
In a lengthy veto message delivered to Congress with the returned bill, Hoover noted his counterfeiting concerns, stated that the coins were selling badly anyway—large quantities of Oregon Trail Memorial half dollars remained unsold. The Bicentennial Committee wanted a commemorative Washington half dollar, sought to assuage Hoover's concerns by proposing that all 1932 half dollars depict Washington instead of bearing the usual Walking Liberty design; the Depression had decreased demand for coin in commerce. Most commemorative coins at the time were struck in a quantity of a few thousand; the half dollar was seen as the largest and most prominent design—the Peace dollar was not being struck and did not circulate in much of the country. Other commemoratives had been sold at a premium, the Washington half dollar would, for one year, be the normal Mint issue. Although it had not yet received congressional approval, the committee went ahead and began a competition; the committee anticipated that the same artist would first design the committee's medal and the coin.
The obverse of both medal and coin were to be based on the well-known sculpture of Washington by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. By law, coinage designs were approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, at that time Andrew W. Mellon, a noted art collector and connoisseur. After reviewing the entries, both the Bicentennial Committee and Fine Arts Commission agreed on designs by Laura Gardin Fraser; the wife of James Earle Fraser, designer of the Buffalo nickel, Laura Fraser was a notable coin designer in her own right, having designed several commemorative coins, including the Oregon Trail Memorial pieces. With a right-facing Washington, Fraser's designs were to be used for the medal, and, as those involved expected, the half dollar as well. On February 9, 1931, New Jersey Representative Randolph Perkins introduced legislation for a Washington quarter, to the dismay of the Bicentennial Committee and Fine Arts Commission; the House of Representatives Committee on Coinage and Measures issued a memorandum stating that the design of the existing Standing Liberty quarter had been found to be unsatisfactory, that the new piece would not only be struck for 1932, it would permanently replace the older design.
Thus, a new quarter would both be a tribute to Washington on his bicentennial, relieve the Mint of the burden of having to coin a difficult-to-strike piece. On February 12, Fine Arts Commission Chairman Charles W. Moore wrote to the House Committee, objecting to the change of denomination, proposing that they mandate that Laura Fraser's design for the medal appear on the coin. Moore was ignored, Congress passed authorizing legislation for a Washington quarter on March 4, 1931; the act provided that Washington's image, to appear on the obverse, was to be based on the "celebrated bust" of the
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