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Sacagawea Makeover
By David Ganz

Weighing in on the new reverse design for the Sacagawea dollar mandated by Congress, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee viewed more than a dozen designs June 18 before selecting a female Indian planting maize (corn) in a field. The design is intended for use on the 2009 dollar coin, which is the first that will host a Native American theme.

Each year thereafter a different Native American design will appear.

The design on the obverse is not necessarily the old Sacagawea design. It is to be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, after consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

There are two requirements: it must ” contain the so-called “Sacagawea design” and ” the inscription “Liberty.”

Despite recent difficulties with edge-lettering, the law requires that the inscription of the year of minting and issuance of the coin and the inscriptions “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust” are required to be edge-incused into the coin. The CCAC formally recommended the date movement, too.

There is a specific requirement that the edge-incusing of the inscriptions be done in a manner that preserves the distinctive edge of the coin so that the denomination of the coin is readily discernible, including by individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

There is an additional consultation requirement: designs selected for the reverse shall be chosen by the Treasury Secretary after consultation with the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate, the Congressional Native American Caucus of the House of Representatives, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Congress of American Indians. They must further be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

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