The United States Mint has announced the reverse design for the upcoming 2010 Native American Dollar. The design is based on the theme “Government – The Great Tree of Peace.”
The reverse depicts the Hiawatha Belt, which is a visual record of the creation of the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy. The central figure on the belt is the Great White Pine, representing the Onondaga Nation. The four squares represent the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca Nations. A bundle of arrows encircled by the belt symbolizes strength in unity for the Iroquois Confederacy. Inscriptions include “Haudenosaunee”, “Great Law of Peace”, “United States of America”, and the denomination “$1”. The reverse was designed by Thomas Cleveland.
The obverse of the coin will feature the familiar portrait of Sacagawea designed by Glenna Goodacre. This design was used on the obverse of the prior Sacagawea Dollar series from 2000 to 2008 and is used (with removal of some of the inscriptions) for the Native American Dollar series.
Earlier in the year, the United States Mint had released five separate design candidates for the 2010 Native American Dollar. Four of the designs featured the “Great Tree of Peace.” This is a white pine tree topped by an eagle. A Native American leader buried weapons here to symbolize the peace treaty formed between the five nations. The fifth design, which was ultimately selected, featured the Hiawatha Belt. Both the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) had favored the Hiawatha Belt design.
The United States Mint will issue the new coins beginning in January 2010 and continuing throughout the year. The Native American Dollar series began in 2009 to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Native Americans. By law, at least twenty percent of all dollar coins produced by the United States Mint are required to be Native American Dollars.
2009 Proof Platinum Eagle
Separately, I wanted to provide some additional information about the reverse design selected for the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle, which had generated a great deal of response from readers. The new design features four faces to represent the diversity of the Nation with intertwined hair and clothing symbolizing the principle “To Form a More Perfect Nation.”
This design will be the first in a multi year series of designs which represent the core concepts of American democracy by featuring the six principles of the Preamble of the US Constitution. The theme of the current and subsequent reverse designs of the series are inspired by narratives prepared by Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr., at the request of the United States Mint.
I believe that the narrative “To Form a More Perfect Union” had been provided to the artists who prepared candidate designs and the CFA and CCAC when they reviewed designs, but I have not seen it published publicly. I requested and obtained a copy of the narrative. On my latest article for Coin Update News, you can read the full narrative “To Form a More Perfect Union” which inspired the 2009 Proof Platinum Eagle design.