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Production of Presidential gold dollars began in 2007. They are part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program which was enacted on December 22, 2005.

About Presidential Gold Dollars

Presidential Gold Dollars

Congress decided to have the United States Mint make a series of gold dollars with the image of the U.S. presidents. This is like the state quarters program, which had each state represented on a quarter that ran from 1999 to 2008. The program calls for the issuing of four gold dollars each year, each one being minted for three months. The gold dollars will be coined in order of the terms of office for each president and stop in 2016 after issuing the Ronald Reagan gold dollar. After that, another act of Congress will be necessary to continue honoring presidents. Therefore, the first of the Presidential Dollars bore the image of George Washington. Two coins will mark Grover Cleveland’s two non-consecutive terms that he served as president.

The back, or reverse, of the gold dollars have the Statue of Liberty and two inscriptions: “$1” and “United States of America”. The date and mintmark (meaning what US Mint made the coin), 13 stars, and “E Pluribus Unum” are all inscribed on the edge of the coin. They are arranged in this fashion: 10 stars in a row, the date and mintmark, three more stars, E PLURIBUS UNUM. In the minting that occurred before 2009, the phrase “In God We Trust” was included in the lettering on the outside. The first coin was released on February 15, 2007 to commemorate Presidents Day.

One reason this program was developed was because of the poor performance of the Sacagawea $1 gold coin that was never widely circulated. Congress hoped that by changing the design, public demand for the new Presidential gold dollars would increase. The series is designed to be educational and the U.S. Mint hopes that many people will want to have the whole collection.

Minting Mistakes

Minting of the Presidential gold dollars is being done at two of the US Mint locations: the one in Philadelphia and Denver. Whenever there is a mistake in the process, the coin’s value may rise. The first mistake that was discovered was a Washington coin that did not have the inscriptions on the edge (E PLURIBUS UNUM - IN GOD WE TRUST - 2007 D (or P). There were around 50,000 of these coins produced and sold for about 50 dollars.

Some of the Adams coins were found to also not have the inscriptions and fewer were produced so they would have a higher value. Other Adams coins had a double die, which means the die struck the coin twice. Most came from the Philadelphia Mint and there are two different kinds. One looks like the letters overlap and the other has the second set of letters and numbers inverted. This means the two sets of inscriptions are inverted or run in opposite directions.

A variation of the minting process sometimes shows the letter and numbers upside down. This happens quite often, as much as half of the time, but can still result in the coin’s value going up a little.

The U.S. Mint

The first Coinage Act provided for the construction of the first mint to be built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Coin production started in 1792 and coins were made of gold, silver, and copper with a little bit of a metal alloy. The Eagle was the gold coin worth 10 dollars, with Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles worth $5 and $2.50. Silver coins were the dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, and half dime. Cents and half cents were made of copper.

The Coinage Act stipulated that all coins have an image that symbolized liberty, the word “Liberty” and the date the coin was minted. The reverse of the gold and silver coins would have an eagle, and the phrase “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”. The reverse of copper coins would have the denomination inscribed on them.