Native American Coins

Native American representations and themes have been one of the most popular designs for US coins in history. The first five cent nickel to ever be minted had an Indiana head on it; incidentally it was this design until 1938 when Thomas Jefferson's image replaced the Indian head. A collection of Indian coins has been released from the US mint to commemorate the contributions of the Native Americans to US society and its industry. Coins like the Indian head nickel and buffalo nickel as well as the five dollar Gold Half Eagle coin. Prior to these coins the only representation of Native American culture was the use of Lady Liberty wearing a headdress.

The most recent use of the Native American image was on the Sacagawea golden dollar in which Sacagawea is presented in all of her glory. The golden dollar was intended to replace the dollar bill but has failed to do so. Native American coins are prime targets for collectors and investors due to the nostalgia and typically limited minting increasing their value over time. The US government has recently announced the use of Native American images for one dollar coins over the next several years. Each year a new American Indian image will be used representing the achievements of the Native Americans in US history. The images and uses of the coins is determined by the Secretary of Treasury, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the House of Representatives Congressional Native American Caucus and National Congress of American Indians.

The US mint plans to run this program until 2016 and could continue afterwards. The mint will check with the aforementioned committees and caucuses to determine the best candidate for imprinting on the coins and the Secretary of Treasury makes the final decision based upon the recommendations of said committees. At least twenty percent of the one dollar coins produced each year must be Indian head or Native American in nature. The Native American coins have a distinctive edge, as do the presidential one dollar coins, and edge lettering of the year and mint marking. The phrase E PLURIBU UNUM is also included on these coins and all of the American Indian dollar coins will remain gold.

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