Skip to Content
Back to Blog


September 22, 20232544 view(s)

In 1997, the U.S. government recognized the need for a new dollar coin that would circulate more widely than its predecessor, the Susan B. Anthony dollar. The U.S. Mint, under the United States Dollar Coin Act of 1997, was tasked with introducing a coin that was both functional for everyday transactions and emblematic of the nation's history. 


The result was the Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin, honoring the Shoshone woman who played a pivotal role in the Lewis and Clark expedition. While its monetary value hovers close to its face value, the coin has garnered attention from numismatists due to its historical significance and design. Read on to understand the coin's unique features, its place in history, and its value to both collectors and everyday users.

The Historical Significance of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin

In the late 1990s, the U.S. Mint recognized a need to revamp its dollar coin offering. The previous Susan B. Anthony dollar, introduced in 1979, hadn't gained the traction officials had hoped for. The U.S. government, aiming to introduce a new coin that would be more widely accepted by the public and distinguishable from other denominations, initiated the Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee. This committee was tasked with proposing concepts for a new dollar coin.


The committee's recommendation was clear: the new coin should depict an image representing the contributions of Native Americans to the history and development of the United States. Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who played a crucial role in the Lewis and Clark expedition, was chosen as the face of the new coin. Her inclusion was not just a nod to her specific contribution but a broader acknowledgment of the significant role Native Americans have played in shaping the nation's history.

Get Our Free IRA/401(k) Investor's Guide

Get Our Free
Investor's Guide


Sacagawea's journey with Lewis and Clark was one of courage and resilience. As a guide and interpreter, she helped the expedition navigate the treacherous terrains of the American West, ensuring their success in reaching the Pacific Ocean. Her presence on the coin serves as a lasting tribute to her legacy and the broader tapestry of Native American contributions.


The Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin stands as more than just currency. It's a symbol of recognition, respect, and a reminder of the rich tapestry of cultures that have contributed to the American story.

The Unique and Artistic Features of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar's Design



The Sacagawea Golden Dollar boasts a design that sets it apart from other coins in circulation. The obverse, crafted by Glenna Goodacre, portrays a young Sacagawea carrying her infant son, Jean Baptiste. This depiction not only commemorates her contributions but also serves as a broader representation of the strength and importance of women in nation-building.


Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin Obverse


The coin's distinctive golden color doesn't come from gold but rather a blend of metals, primarily copper, with zinc, manganese, and nickel additions. The reverse side, designed by Thomas D. Rogers, features a soaring eagle in flight, surrounded by 17 stars, representing each state in the Union at the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Encircling the eagle are the inscriptions "United States of America" and "One Dollar."


Its smooth edge, devoid of the ridges found on many other coins, and its unique design elements make the Sacagawea Golden Dollar a functional piece of currency and a work of art in its own right.

Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coin Reverse

The Cultural Impact and Indigenous Honor of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar  

The Sacagawea Golden Dollar is more than just a coin; it's a symbol of recognition and respect for the indigenous cultures of North America. By featuring Sacagawea, the U.S. Mint acknowledged the pivotal contributions of Native Americans to the nation's history.


Furthermore, the coin has sparked interest and curiosity about Native American history and culture among the broader public. Schools, museums, and cultural institutions have used the coin as a starting point for discussions about the rich tapestry of indigenous cultures and their impact on the U.S.


The Sacagawea Golden Dollar also holds special significance for Native American communities. It serves as a source of pride, a tangible acknowledgment of their ancestors' contributions, and a call for continued recognition and respect for indigenous rights, traditions, and stories. In a broader sense, this coin is one of several that stands as a testament to the resilience, strength, and enduring legacy of Native American communities across the country.

The Intrinsic Value of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar  

The Sacagawea Golden Dollar, introduced as a circulation coin, inherently carries a different valuation perspective compared to limited mintage or commemorative coins. Its intrinsic value is primarily tied to the spot prices of the metals it comprises—copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel. While these metals don't approach the coin's face denomination in value, they do provide a baseline. 

Beyond this intrinsic worth, the coin's numismatic value comes into play. Factors like historical significance, condition, and demand among collectors determine this value. Although the Sacagawea Golden Dollar was minted in large quantities, making it relatively common, certain unique characteristics or minting errors can elevate its desirability and worth in the numismatic community. While it may not be a prime investment coin, its blend of spot price and numismatic potential ensures it holds a distinct position in the coin market.

The Foolproof Way to Add the Sacagawea Golden Dollar to Your Portfolio

The Sacagawea Golden Dollar, with its rich history and cultural significance, is a coin that many collectors and investors find intriguing. While its intrinsic value might not match some of the more sought-after coins, its numismatic potential and the stories it tells make it a worthy addition to any collection. 


If you're considering diversifying your portfolio with this unique coin, the U.S. Gold Bureau stands as your trusted partner in the world of precious metals.

With a reputation built on transparency, expertise, and customer-centric services, we ensure that every transaction is seamless and informed. Ready to take the next step? Chat with our experts or give us a call at (888) 818-0703 to discuss how the Sacagawea Golden Dollar can enhance your investment journey.


Posting in:
United States Gold BureaubyUnited States Gold Bureau
This site uses cookies to improve your experience. By clicking, you agree to our Privacy Policy.