In March the U.S. Mint will begin circulation of something American consumers haven't seen in more than 20 years—a new dollar coin. The new coin features Sacagawea, the young Shoshone interpreter who assisted the Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804 to 1806.

The Sacagawea dollar coin replaces the Susan B. Anthony coin, whose supply is nearly depleted. And unlike the Susan B. Anthony, consumers shouldn't confuse the new dollar with the quarter. Consumer tests have found that the Golden Dollar is easily distinguishable from other coins by touch alone.

The Sacagawea dollar not only is golden in color, but has a smooth edge, similar to a nickel. It features an extra-wide border and has a unique, finely crafted design. The back of the coin features a full-spanned soaring eagle and 17 stars—one for each of the states at the time of Lewis and Clark's expedition.

The Mint plans to produce enough of the dollars to meet strong public demand in 2000. Retail outlets and thousands of coin-operated machines around the country are prepared to accept the new coin. The Mint projects that in its first year, the Golden Dollar will double current annual demand for the Susan B. Anthony coin—reaching 100 million coins.

Coin presses are expected to produce 800 copies of the coin per minute at the height of production. Market research the U.S. Mint conducted indicates that consumers are ready to incorporate the new coin into their daily lives.

American consumers:
Expect to spend and receive the Golden Dollar
in routine retail transactions
Expect to be able to obtain the new coin
from their local financial institutions
Prefer to receive the new dollar coin
as change vs. the dollar bill

© 2000 Credit Union National Association Inc.