The American Innovation Dollar series issued by the United States Mint pays tribute to some of the most prominent American innovators and inventors that changed the world in and of themselves and made possible countless other changes.
Throughout its less than two and a half centuries, the United States has become one of the preeminent world leaders in commerce, culture, and military force. Where America sets itself apart, though, is in innovation. The American Innovation Coin program began in 2018 and will feature designs that honor an American innovation or invention from each of the 50 states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. Issued in both proof and uncirculated finishes, the multi-year program is as diverse as the American nation it honors. Keep reading to learn more about American Innovation coins and to browse our inventory below.
American Innovation Dollar Obverse: All the coins in the American Innovation coin program share a standard obverse design. Created by Justin Kunz, the image is a side view of the Statue of Liberty, complete with her arm extended, holding her torch high. The national motto, "IN GOD WE TRUST," is inscribed to the left, while the coin's face value, "$1," is noted on the right. After the introductory issue, a privy mark was added under the national motto. That mark is a stylized gear wheel that changes annually so that each year's four releases share an individual privy mark before a new one debuts the following year.
American Innovation Dollar Reverse: The reverse designs in the American Innovation coin program are unique to each issue and pay tribute to an innovation or innovator from one of the 50 states, five U.S. territories, or the District of Columbia. The United States Mint collaborated with the Governor's office of each location to choose a reverse design symbolic of innovation with ties to their state's role in the nation.
The American Innovation coin program began with an introductory coin in 2018, which was the only Innovation Dollar released that year. The inaugural release celebrated the first patent with President George Washington's signature as it appeared on the historic document. The design also includes stylized gears that symbolize innovation and industry and the logo of the U.S. Patent Office.
Delaware: Issued in 2019, the first state represented by the American Innovation Dollar series was Delaware. The issue honors Annie Jump Cannon, who played a significant role in the modern classification of stars. The reverse image shows her in silhouette against a night sky backdrop.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania was the second state represented in the American Innovation Dollar series. That release celebrates the polio vaccine, which has saved countless people from paralysis and death. The innovation is represented by a microscope and a poliovirus on the dollar's reverse.
New Jersey: The third issue in the series, New Jersey's, celebrates one of the most critical inventions not just in American history but in the history of the world: the light bulb. The reverse of the Innovation Dollar shows a lightbulb against an ornate background.
Georgia: The last release of 2019, Georgia's entry in the American Innovation Dollar series features the Trustee Garden. The garden was established to source materials for England, but the experiments conducted there helped to grow both Georgia and South Carolina economies. The image representing the garden shows a hand planting seedlings, including an orange tree, grapes, and a peach tree, among others.
Connecticut: The first American Innovation Dollar release of 2020 honored Connecticut and featured the Gerber Variable Scale. The scale was used before the invention of the graphing calculator to enable engineers, architects, and other scientists to understand and solve problems of scale.
Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Innovation Coin features one of the most important inventions in human history, the telephone. The reverse design shows an early rotary dial.
Maryland: The third American Innovation Dollar release of 2020 featured a space-related theme. Maryland's issue honors the Hubble Telescope. Launched in 1990, the telescope was the first designed to be serviced in space, and it is managed by the Maryland-based NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute. The coin's image shows the telescope orbiting around the Earth.
South Carolina: The most recent release in the series as of writing was the South Carolina coin. Uniquely, this coin is dated 2020 but wasn't released until January 19, 2021. The reverse image shows Septima Clark marching with three students. Clark was an educator and civil rights activist who was instrumental in establishing Citizenship Schools, which helped to enfranchise black voters.
All coins released as part of the United States Mint's American Innovation Dollars Series are $1 legal tender in the United States.
The American Innovation Dollar Series offers broad appeal. Patriotic Americans get to see how the country has become a world leader; students of history can discover and celebrate the massive changes that Americans have made possible over the past two and a half centuries; and children and adults alike can find inspiration in the ways that ordinary people have had extraordinary impacts, changing life not just in the United States but all over the world. Whether you are passionate about completing an American Innovation coin set, which will take a little over a decade, or you are looking for a few pieces that you find particularly meaningful, order your American Innovation Dollars today at ModernCoinMart!