The Sacagawea dollar, dubbed the “Golden Dollar” by some, was introduced in 2000 as the new US dollar currency. Although the coin hasn’t been used since 2012, it’s recently caught the attention of collectors. Why’s that, though? This guide dives into the history of the Sacagawea dollar coin, which was made by Susan B. Anthony dollar in 2000.
Also, we will analyze some of the errors found in these coins with flaws, like the missing feathers on eagles or typographical errors, on the reverse. How do these errors influence the value of Sacagawea dollar coins? Let’s find out!
History of the 2000 Sacagawea Dollar
A Shoshone woman who spent a significant chunk of her life as an enslaved person, Sacagawea, was an essential part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s guides and interpreters in the Pacific Northwest spanning from 1803 to 1806. Besides recommending the consultation of Native American historians and artists on the coin’s design, the committee members offered no suggestions on how their intended depiction should be realized.
When there were no known images of the peace in question, there was an agreement to recognize her as a historical figure. Bessie Coleman-the first black female pilot—and Eleanor Roosevelt were among the other nominees.
An effort to overrule a committee proposal to use Rubin’s design of a Statue of Liberty on the recent dollar coin was introduced by Castle on July 24, 1998. Rather, the Treasury proceeded with a design competition based on the earlier recommended concept.
Mint sculptors & engravers, and outside artists submitted 121 reverse and obverse designs. In Washington, D.C., coin collectors, historians, guests, and artists assessed the proposed designs. They provided comments and expressed their choices to a Mint design selection committee between Nov. 16 and 18, 1998.
Congress members, notable authors and historians, the Federal Reserve Board and Treasury Department officials, alongside others, had the opportunity to express their views on the suggested designs on November 20, 1998. Mint authorities refused to name the members of a design panel that restricted the selection to six obverse and five reverse designs.
Following a second meeting on Dec. 14, 1998, the design selection panel of the US Mint handpicked only three reverse designs and three obverse designs to be sent to the US Commission of Fine Arts for evaluation and approval. In late December of 1998, the six drawings, together with final design comments from the Mint, were sent to Rubin.
Fast-forward to 5 months from then, on May 4, 1999, at a White House event featuring Native American drums, word on the obverse design surfaced, revealing it to be Glenna Goodacre’s work — a Santa Fe, New Mexico artist & sculptor. Her design depicts Sacagawea gazing backward right above her right shoulder while strapping Jean Baptiste, her infant son, to her back. Thomas D. Rogers Sr, a Sculptor and Engraver of the United States Mint, came up with the final reverse design.
With its wings swaying over the reverse field and 17 stars surrounding it, the eagle is depicted in full flight in his design. This constellation of 17 stars depicts the number of states existing during the Lewis and Clark Expedition period. It wasn’t until 1803 that Ohio became a full-fledged state.
Before this time, no other US coin in circulation had a depiction of 17 stars. Randy L’Teton, Goodacre’s Sacagawea model, was also in attendance at the unveiling.
On November 18, 1999, the Philadelphia Mint commenced full-scale manufacture of the 2000 Sacagawea gold dollars, only seconds after ceremonial pioneer strikes. To ensure that the Sacagawea dollars succeed, Diehl—the Mint Director—had made known a series of full-scale marketing that will see 100 (one hundred) Sacagawea dollars given out to the general public prior to entering circulation later in March.
Additionally, Diehl revealed that the Mint would cooperate with two key national retailers who had plans to promote widespread adoption of the Sacagawea dollars in their day-to-day operations. This includes the cash drawer’s sixth change spot for the new dollars in place of rolls of some different denominations.
General Mills and the Philadelphia Mint had teamed up to place special Lincoln cents with the 2000 date in a total of 10 million uniquely branded Cheerios boxes. A Sacagawea dollar was set to be included in one out of 2,000 boxes.
At the urging of General Mills, Diehl announced every 2,500th package would have a certificate that one could exchange for 100 Philadelphia-minted Sacagawea dollars in addition to a 2000 Lincoln cent. Coins were made available to the public in January 2000, two months ahead of schedule, as part of a promotion.
Diehl started a 4-month publicity campaign via radio, television, and print sources once the new dollar coin was circulated to inform the public about adopting the new denomination. Despite the Mint’s best efforts, just a handful of people in the United States had ever seen a Sacagawea dollar coin in circulation two years following its debut. Fast-forward to 2002, and the US Mint stopped making Sacagawea dollars for circulation, only making them primarily for collector products.
Characteristics And Specifications of the 2000 Sacagawea Dollar
The dollar coins of Sacagawea are gold-plated 24-karat. In other words, they’re composed of copper, which is then plated with layers of pure gold to make them look expensive.
The coin has the following specifications:
- Weight: 8.100 grams
- Diameter: 1.04 inches
- Thickness: 0.08 inches
- Gram weight: 8.100 grams (2 mm)
It was lettered on edge from 2000 until 2008, then changed back to plain in 2009. Its core is 77% copper, 12% zinc, 7% manganese, and 4% nickel. Copper accounted for 88.5% of the total, with 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese, and 2% nickel.
A copper core was encased in a manganese brass shell, giving these coins their golden hue. Glenna Goodacre painted the coin’s face, while the reverse featured an eagle designed by Thomas D. Rogers between 2000 and 2008. The reverse has undergone a series of dramatic alterations, reflecting a distinct part of Native American culture.
The 200 Sacagawea Production and Release
When the first Sacagawea dollar was struck on November 18, 1999, several guests and dignitaries got to hold a piece of history. With the help of Walmart and General Mills, the coin’s inaugural advertising campaign included 1,600 television, radio, and print ads.
Walmart and Sam’s Club began receiving the mint’s dollar coins in January 2000, and the mint has continued to do so to this day. Sacagawea dollars may have been exported or hoarded by American individuals for as much as a billion dollars in 2002, according to a study by the American Numismatic Association (ANA).
Varieties of the 2000 Sacagawea Dollar
The first of a new dollar coin series, the Sacagawea Dollar, was released in 2000. The United States Mint backed the debut with an effective advertising campaign, including print ads, television commercials, and cross-promotions.
The United States Mint would produce over one billion “Golden Dollar” coins in the first year. Unfortunately, they didn’t catch on as widely as they had hoped. One common explanation for this failure is that the public preferred dollar notes to coins. By the second year, the amount of Sacagawea Dollars being produced for circulation had decreased dramatically, ceasing eventually.
Collectors could choose from a variety of Sacagawea Dollar 2000 variants. One of the 5,500 coins included in Cheerios boxes had a pattern design different from that eventually used in circulation. The so-called “Cheerios Sacagawea Dollar” rapidly became a sought-after collectible and continues to attract high prices.
The new dollar coin designer, Glenna Goodacre, was paid $5,000 for her work on the obverse. There are a limited number of these “Goodacre Presentation Sacagawea Dollars” left, and they feature a proof-like finish.
Encapsulation by ICG ensured that each of the 5,000 coins had a permanent record of where they came from. They later underwent transfer to other grading companies, but their provenance remained.
Only 75,000 of the special Millennium Coinage and Currency Set were made available by the US Mint. American Silver Eagle, Sacagawea Dollar, and one dollar bill with “2000” in the serial number were all included in the collection. “Millennium Set” coins are identifiable by a burnished surface on the Sacagawea Dollars in this set.
2000 Sacagawea Dollar Mintages
Here are the various numbers of each 2000 Sacagawea dollar minted:
- 2000-P: Total number was 767,140,000
- 2000-P Cheerios: Total number was 5,500
- 2000-P Goodacre: Total number was 5,000
- 2000-D: Total number was 518,916,000
- 2000-D Millennium Set: Total number was 75,000
- 2000-S Proof: Total number was 4,047,904
What Is the 2000 Sacagawea Dollar Value?
As we mentioned earlier, the overall composition of the Golden Dollar was 6.0% zinc, 88.5% copper, 2.0% nickel, and 3.5 % manganese. Also, the coin’s composite construction offers security features, enabling machines to differentiate it from foreign currencies, tokens, and slugs.
Following the assembly of complete Sacagawea dollars coin sets by collectors, a revelation surfaced regarding these coins — the 2000 Sacagawea coin exists in two varieties.
The Redbook’s 60th edition published in 2007— “A Guide Book of United States Coins”—by R. S. Yeoman was the first to list them. Additionally, the Fourth Edition Volume II of J. T. Stanton and Bill Fivaz’s book, the “Cherrypickers Guide To Rare Die Varieties Of United States Coins,” refers to the coin as an “Enhanced Reverse Die.”
Considering the relatively sparse number of verified specimens, one of these coins is key to piecing together a complete Sacagawea dollar set—dies inclusive—by a pro collector.
The 2000 Sacagawea dollars that remain in circulation have a face value worth of $1.00. It’s only in uncirculated conditions that they sell for a premium.
The 2000 P Sacagawea dollar value is around $6 in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade. Moreover, the 2000 D Sacagawea dollar value is about $9 in uncirculated condition with an MS 65 grade. On the other hand, the 2000 S proof Sacagawea dollar is worth around $6 in PR 65 condition.
Here are some excellently priced 2000 Sacagawea Dollar varieties:
Boldly Detailed Tail Feathers Variety
These coins were part of a promotion that the mint did with Cheerios. For this reason, they are also known as “Cheerio Dollars.” The boldly detailed tail feathers are how you can tell the difference between these coins and the standard coins.
The uncirculated 2000 P Sacagawea dollar with the boldly detailed tail feathers is valued at roughly $3,500 with an MS 65 grade. Even though more than 5,000 of these coins surfaced via minting, just a handful have been found.
Goodacre Presentation Finish Variety
Glenna Goodacre designed the reverse of the Sacagawea dollar, and she amassed a staggering 5,000 pieces of $1 Sacagawea coins as payment from the US Mint. This particular batch of coins was struck using unique dies, giving them a distinctive look. So, today, the Goodacre presentation finish is worth about $550.
The US Mint inserted a 2000 dated Lincoln penny into 10 million boxes of Cheerios—5,500 of which also contained the Sacagawea dollar—to promote its new “Golden Dollar.” A few of those dollars with eagle tail feathers weren’t conventional.
These coins have only been found around 60 to 70 times in the last few decades, yet they can sell for up to $25,000, depending on the grade.
How to Spot Error 2000 Sacagawea Coins
The errors in coins are hard to get by; nonetheless, it’s not impossible. The US Mint often encounters these kinds of mistakes when mass-producing coins. One die fault or miss-strike affects all of the coins produced in a given production run at the same time, unfortunately. Coins with the same fault from the mint possibly exist in hundreds or thousands.
However, it’s impossible to quantify the mintage of coins with specific defects due to their unintentional character. Detecting a false coin will require patience and a keen eye. Also, being aware of what to look for is essential to success.
Noting a coin with a unique appearance is a good start and usually has great value, but familiarizing yourself with well-known mistakes is key. You can find these errors by engaging in any of these activities:
Even though some coin faults are immediately apparent, others are more subtle and may necessitate the use of a magnifying lens. Aside from checking your wallet, there are a few additional locations you should keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
Using coin rolls, obtainable from any bank, is a common method for finding valuable coins. Coin roll searching may take some time, but there’s no risk of losing money if you do it this way. Even if you don’t find anything, your coins are still worth what you paid.
For error coin collectors, this popular tactic focuses on a small number of coins. A simple way to do this is to go through a set of coins one at a time. You could use a coin lot from an estate sale or a coin shop’s “discount bin.”
Additional Notes: Finding mistake coins is an exciting part of coin collecting. Coins that appear like they may be worth a lot more than they are may be sitting in your wallet. We’ll be looking at the mistakes you can find in the 2000 Sacagawea dollar coins.
Patterns and Prototypes With Errors That the US Mint Released
The United States Mint placed new 2000 (P) Lincoln cents and 2000-P Sacagawea dollar coins into “Cheerios” cereal boxes in 2000. Approximately ten million cereal boxes were distributed as part of a federal marketing initiative to raise awareness of the new “Golden Dollar.” Notably, the US Mint strategically placed 2000 Sacagawea dollar Cheerios in around 5,500 of the 10 million boxes.
Many of these “Cheerios” dollars were eventually determined to have been struck from a different master die than the regular 2000-P Sacagawea dollar coins. When looking at the 2000 P Sacagawea dollar error in the coin’s reverse, the eagle’s tail feathers highlight the difference. Cheerios dollars have more prominent feathers than those on the standard dollar coin.
Experts speculate that the Mint’s engraving staff was still polishing the Sacagawea dies and was unaware that the 5,500 coins shipped to General Mills for packaging had been struck with the increased tail feather dies. Also, a small number of these Sacagawea coins were returned to the Mint owing to deterioration and were later replaced by newer issues without the additional tail feathering.
There were two varieties of dollars in Cheerios boxes, including:
- one with enlarged tail feathers, and
- the other without enlarged tail feathers.
Collectors regard the model with the more pronounced tail feathers as a true prototype.
When it comes to mistakes, there are few more bizarre than mules. When an obverse die and reverse die are paired incorrectly, the result is a mule coin. The 2000-P Sacagawea dollar mule is possibly the most well-known (and cherished) of all mule coins.
The standard reverse is coupled with the familiar obverse of a Washington quarter on the planchet of “golden dollar” coins that appeared in 2000. The golden tint of the coin and the similarity in size of the two denominations make the accidental pairing pleasant to the eyes.
Only 19 instances have been found, and almost all of them are in near-mint condition.” The typical price for these coins with errors is around $50,000.
Also, there’s the 2000 P Sacagawea dollar wounded eagle. For this error, the eagle’s belly is slashed by a raised die fault. As of January 2012, there are only 115 instances of this variant in all grades.
What’s the 2000 D Sacagawea dollar value?
Over half a billion of the 2000 D Sacagawea coins surfaced via minting, and because of the vast mintage, these pieces are unlikely to be considered rare. The uncirculated 2000 D Sacagawea dollar is valued at about $9 in MS 65 condition.
What is the 2000 P Sacagawea dollar worth?
In 2000, a total of 767,140,000 2000-P Sacagawea gold dollars were produced. That worked up to around three coins per American at the time. With such a vast mintage, these coins can’t be considered rare.
The value of a single standard 2000-P Sacagawea in circulation is still a dollar. However, for a 2000 P Sacagawea dollar with an MS 65 grade, the uncirculated value is roughly $5.
Is there a gold 2000 Sacagawea dollar?
Even though this coin was initially promoted as the “Golden Dollar,” it contains no gold. Instead, it’s made with a 24 Karat Gold-plating. In reality, the Sacagawea dollars are copper, manganese, brass, zinc, and nickel.
What is the error of the 2000 Sacagawea dollar?
There are several errors in the Sacagawea dollars. The 2000 Sacagawea Dollar Mule Error is one, and the Cheerios dollars has the elongated tail feathers error. There’s also the 2000 P Sacagawea dollars with the wounded eagle. These mistakes make these coins worth between $5,000 and $25,000.
Is a 2000 Sacagawea dollar valuable?
Yes, it’s valuable. However, the face value of a standard 2000 Sacagawea dollar in circulation equals $1.00. You can only get the uncirculated coins at a reasonable value. The most expensive is the 2000 Sacagawea coins with errors.
We aren’t sure why there are so few 2000 Sacagawea dollars or Cheerios Dollars in circulation; some people believe they were all spent, while others say they’re just waiting to be found in people’s desk drawers and coin containers.
People are still finding new samples of these coins, regardless of the circulating theories. In some cases, they’ve been found among dealer shops and online auction sites, while others have been located in the general population. So far, the uncirculated 2000 Sacagawea dollar is incredibly valuable and worth collecting. So, if you have these coins, especially the ones with the errors, you could amass a couple of thousand dollars by auctioning them off.
Checking every 2000 Sacagawea dollar you come across now is an excellent way to catch these highly-priced error coins, especially now that you know what to look for. You should also inquire about Sacagawea dollar specimens from dealers unfamiliar with this unusual die type. You never know what you’re going to find!