Guidance - Sacagawea Cheerios Dollars
As part of an effort in 1999 to
promote the new Sacagawea Dollars, General Mills
scattered 5,500 specially-packaged 2000-dated
Sacagawea Dollars among 10 million boxes of
Cheerios cereal. Five years later, it was
discovered that the so-called “Cheerios” Dollars
were actually from a different reverse die type.
Some experts consider these pattern coins;
others have called them “Reverse of 1999”. PCGS
has labeled them “Cheerios FS-401”, referring to
the source and the reference number from the
Fivaz-Stanton “Cherrypicker” guide.
Because of the perceived rarity of the Reverse
of 1999 and the assumption that all “Cheerios”
Dollars bore the Reverse of 1999, the demand for
these coins has increased and the coins
themselves have become quite valuable.
However, PCGS experts recently opened a sealed
“Cheerios” package only to find out that the
Dollar contained in the package was of a normal,
Reverse of 2000 die type.
The package appeared to be authentic and showed
no evidence of tampering. A similar experience
has been reported by another grading service.
Thus, one may no longer assume that the Dollars
in the Cheerios packages are of the rare,
Reverse of 1999.
Because the “Cheerios” Dollars are packaged
obverse up, the reverse cannot be seen. An
obverse die marker has been identified on some
“Cheerios” Dollars and may assist in identifying
Reverse of 1999 Dollars in sealed packages. The
die marker consists of die polish extending into
the field from Sacagawea’s wrap immediately
below and to the left of the mintmark. Whether
this die marker is diagnostic of the Reverse of
1999 Sacagawea Dollars remains to be seen.
PCGS only applies the “Cheerios” designation to
Sacagawea Dollars with the Reverse of 1999. PCGS
bears no responsibility for the die type of
Dollars submitted in unopened Cheerios packages,
nor is PCGS obligated to designate any Dollar as
a “Cheerios” Dollar simply because it came out
of a sealed Cheerios package.
For additional information about submitting your
coins to the Professional Coin Grading Service,
please contact a Customer Service Representative
at (800) 447-8848 or visit the PCGS website at
www.pcgs.com. Contact the PCGS Bulk Department
PCGS Guidance is based on the best information
available at the time the guidance is developed.
PCGS, at their discretion, may adjust guidance
as new information becomes available.