Entries from December 2009 ↓

2009 American Platinum Eagle Proof Coin

After a long delay and some uncertainty about the fate of the coin, the US Mint finally released the 2009 American Platinum Eagle Proof Coin on December 3, 2009. This coin continues the series of .995 platinum coins that have been issued since 1997.

2009 Platinum Eagle

The reverse design of the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle is emblematic of the theme “To Form a More Perfect Union”. Four faces are shown with hair and clothing intertwined to represent diversity within a single Nation. An American Eagle privy mark appears to satisfy the legal requirement to have an eagle appear on the reverse of the coin. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and engraved by Phebe Hemphill.

The obverse of the coin features a rendition of the Statue of Liberty by John Mercanti. This image has been used on the obverse of the bullion and collectible versions of the coin since 1997.

Notably, this will be the only Platinum Eagle coin issued during 2009. The US Mint announced that the bullion versions would not be produced this year, and the other collectible versions were previously announced as discontinued.

2009 First Spouse Bronze Medals

The US Mint recently released the last of this year’s First Spouse Bronze Medals. These medals present a cheap alternative to the pricey First Spouse Gold Coin series. The last medal features Margaret Taylor. On the same day, the US Mint also released the 2009 Five Medal Set, which contains one of each medal issued this year.

First Spouse Bronze Medals

Each year since the First Spouse series began, the US Mint has issued a 1-5/16 inch bronze medal duplicate of each gold coin. The design images used on the medals are the same as the gold coins, although many of the inscriptions are removed. In fact, all reverse inscriptions are removed completely, making for a full view and focus of the reverse design.

The First Spouse bronze medals seem to have attracted a sizeable and dedicated following of collectors. Priced at $3.50, several of this years medals have already sold out of their individual options. Some medals from prior years are already selling at prices above their issue price. This year, I took the plunge and ordered one of the five medal sets. I am hoping to receive by Christmas.

Northern Mariana Islands Quarter Mintage

The US Mint has recently released the final mintages for the Northern Marian Islands Quarter. This quarter was the final release of this year’s DC & US Territories Quarter Program, which also honored the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the US Virgin Islands.

The latest mintage confirmed the trend of lower overall mintages for each subsequent release of the six coin program. For the Northern Mariana Islands Quarter, Philadelphia Mint produced 35,200,000 coins and the Denver Mint produced 37,600,000 coins. The total overall mintage from both mints was 72,800,000. These figures are for circulation strike coins, including those sold by the US Mint in their numismatic bags and rolls program.


This overall figure represents nearly a 100 million decline from the production of the initial release of the series featuring the District of Columbia. The mintage for the 2009-P Northern Mariana Islands Quarter of 35.2 million also notably represents the lowest mintage for a single date/mint mark quarter issue since 1960.

Northern Mariana Islands Quarters Released

On November 30, 2009, the final coin in the District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarter Program was released. This coin featured the Northern Mariana Islands.

Northern Mariana Islands Quarter

The reverse of the coin features plant and animal life of the islands, as well as a sailing vessel and the Latte stone. A head lei composed of native plants and flowers borders the lower portion of the design. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.

To coincide with the release of the coins into circulation, the US Mint offered bags and rolls of the new coins for collectors. These were priced at a premium to face value and contain coins that have never been circulated. An official launch ceremony will be held on December 10, 2009 at American Memorial park Amphitheater, Garapan, Saipan.

Following the conclusion of this six coin series follow up to the popular 50 State Quarters series, there will begin a new series of quarters with rotating reverse designs. This will be known as America the Beautiful Quarters. There will be 56 quarters featuring a National Park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia, and each US Territory.

2010 Native American Dollar Haudenosaunee

The design for the upcoming 2010 Native American Dollar was recently released by the US Mint. The Native American Dollar series began last year to commemorate the accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans. The 2009 design featured the Three Sisters method of planting.

Native American DollarThe 2010 design will feature a Hiawatha Belt with five arrows bound together. This represents the creation of the Haudenosaunee, better known at the Iroquois Confederacy. The symbols on the belt and the arrows represent the five nations: Onondaga, Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, and Seneca.

The reverse carries the inscriptions “United States of America”, “$1”, “Haudenosaunee”, and “Great Law of Peace”. The reverse was designed by Thomas Cleveland. The obverse of hte coin will continue to feature the portrait of Sacagawea and child, designed by Glenna Goodacre.

The US Mint expects that the first 2010 Native American Dollars will be available in January 2010.