By Darrin Lee
Marking the first full year in a new collector series, the United States Mint released today the 2019 American Innovation $1 Coin Proof Set for $20.95.
Found within the set are four proof quality dollars honoring American innovation and pioneering from Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Georgia. Proof coins are the U.S. Mint’s highest quality finish, featuring sharp reliefs and frosted foregrounds against mirror-like backgrounds. Those for the set are also produced at the Mint’s facility in San Francisco and carry an ‘S’ mint mark whereas coins for circulation come from the Denver or Philadelphia Mints.
In a quick overview, the American Innovation series debuted last year with one $1 coin design. It served as an introduction to the program which will offer four different reverse (tails) designs every year from 2019 through 2032.
Series coins will showcase a reverse emblematic of a significant innovation, an innovator or group of innovators from each of the 50 states, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
As for their order of release, the authorizing law mandates that they shall follow a timeline of when each state ratified the Constitution of the United States or was admitted to the Union. Following that, the coins shall honor the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
This year’s program coins showcase reverse designs honoring innovations or innovators in:
Delaware with a depiction of astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, who developed a system for classifying the stars that is still used today. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “ANNIE JUMP CANNON,” “CLASSIFYING THE STARS,” and “DELAWARE.” Donna Weaver designed the image and Joseph Menna sculpted it.
Pennsylvania with an image recognizing the creation of a vaccine to prevent polio. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “POLIO VACCINE,” “1953,” and “PENNSYLVANIA.” Richard Masters designed the image and Joseph Menna sculpted it.
New Jersey with imagery symbolizing the development of a light bulb with a filament that could last 1,200 hours. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “NEW JERSEY.” Paul C. Balan designed the image and Phebe Hemphill sculpted it.
Georgia with a depiction recognizing the first agricultural experimental garden in America, the Trustees’ Garden, established in the 1730s. Inscriptions include “TRUSTEES’ GARDEN,” “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “GEORGIA.” Emily Damstra designed the image and Michael Gaudioso sculpted it.
Designed by Justin Kunz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill, all series coins share a common obverse (heads side) depicting a representation of the Statue of Liberty, a privy mark of a stylized gear, and inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “$1.”
Dollar coins also share edges that are incused with their year of issue, a mint mark, and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”
The 2019 American Innovation $1 Coin Proof Set is available directly from the U.S. Mint via its online store for American Innovation products, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT.
All four coins ship together in a protective lens and are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.