Hoping to inspire seasoned numismatists and neophyte collectors alike, the United States Mint has just launched a new series of collectible coins. Honoring the movers and shakers that helped shape the United States we know and love today, the American Innovation $1 Coin Program will highlight “…quintessentially American traits—the willingness to explore, to discover and to create one’s destiny.”
Four new designs will be issued each year from 2019 through 2032 until all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories have been represented. The coin’s reverse images will illustrate a person, group of people or particular innovation from each state.
To kick off the series, a 2018 introductory coin has been minted. The obverse bears a bold Statue of Liberty, while the reverse displays George Washington’s signature and stylized gears to symbolize industry and ideas. Washington issued the first U.S. patent in 1790. As if in testament to the gumption and enterprising drive of America’s residents, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its 10 millionth patent in June of 2018.
Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia are slated to make their debuts in 2019. What innovator or innovation do you think should be on your state’s coin? For our little state of Vermont, my bet is on John Deere, who was born in Rutland. Or maybe Thaddeus Fairbanks, inventor of the platform scale… Coincidentally, the man who received the first patent (for potash) from George Washington also resided in Vermont at one point in his life… After all, winters are long and cold here—leaving us with plenty of time to tinker.