The History of the United States' Golden Presidential Dollars

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Take a look in your car’s cup holders or that jar of loose change lurking in the kitchen cabinet. Do any glints and glimmers of gold catch your eye? If so, you might count yourself among the lucky owners of a Presidential $1 — a relatively rare and decidedly novel type of coinage that features engravings of U.S. presidents’ faces and the Statue of Liberty, all done up in a warm, golden metal blend that we don’t see too often in U.S. currency.

For just a few years in the early 2000s, the U.S. Mint oversaw the Presidential $1 Coin Program, which produced special coins that honored, as you might have guessed, American presidents. But not every U.S. head of state ended up with their likeness boldly born in bas-relief on the faces of our spare change. And that’s just one element of what makes these coins so interesting. Whether you fancy yourself an aspiring numismatist or an armchair historian, you’ll enjoy broadening your understanding of this U.S. Mint program — and maybe even learning what these coins could be worth today.