U.S. Mint Media Advisory July 2007
United States Mint to Publicly Display Never-Before-Seen Gold Space Coins In Milwaukee
Real 22-Karat Gold Versions of Sacagawea Golden Dollars Flew Aboard Historic Space Shuttle Mission
The United States Mint will display for the first time 12 gold proof Sacagawea Golden Dollars that flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999. The 12 gold versions of the circulating Golden Dollars will be unveiled at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money® in Milwaukee, the largest coin show in the nation. Until now, the gold "space coins" have been stored at Fort Knox. They never have been seen in public, and similar gold coins were never sold, making them extremely rare. Although the coins' value has not been established, they are very unique as historic artifacts.
The 22-karat gold coins were minted to promote the use, and create public awareness, of the Sacagawea Golden Dollars that went into general circulation in 2000. The circulating Golden Dollar has a metal content of manganese brass. Like the circulating coin, the 12 gold proof Golden Dollars feature an image of Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who assisted Lewis and Clark on their 8,000-mile expedition. These 12 gold coins commemorated the first shuttle flight to be commanded by a woman, USAF Col. (ret.) Eileen Collins.
The 22-karat gold versions of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar are made of .9167 (half-ounce) fine gold.
What: Ceremony to unveil for the first time in public the 22-karat gold proof Sacagawea Golden Dollars that flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999. News media are welcome.
Who: United States Mint Director Ed Moy, a Wisconsin native and University of Wisconsin graduate, will make remarks and sign commemorative cards.
When: Friday, August
10, 2007, at 11:30 a.m.
Airlines Convention Center
U.S. Mint Press Release July 19, 2007
United States Mint Booth at Worlds
Fair of Money® to Feature a Space Coins Exhibit,
United States Mint Also to Host Coin Collectors Forum on Friday, August 10
WASHINGTON - United States Mint booth #1201 is the place to be at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money® in Milwaukee, August 8-12, 2007. The highlight will be a media event on Friday, August 10, at 11:30 a.m. (CT), at which United States Mint Director Edmund C. Moy will unveil twelve 22-karat gold versions of Golden Dollars featuring Sacagawea that were sent into space in 1999 aboard the shuttle Columbia. This is the first opportunity the public has had to view these gold coins. The "Space Coins" will remain on display at the booth afterwards. Director Moy will also sign special cards commemorating the exhibit from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, August 10. The cards will be available at the United States Mint booth throughout the coin show.
The United States Mint will also host a Coin Collectors Forum at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10, at which collectors are encouraged to provide feedback about the future of the Nation's coinage.
United States Mint Displays Never-Before-Seen Gold Space Coins in Milwaukee
Half-ounce Gold Versions of Sacagawea Golden Dollars Flew on Historic Space Shuttle Mission
The United States Mint displayed for the first time 12 gold proof Sacagawea Golden Dollars that flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999. United States Mint Director Ed Moy unveiled the coins at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money® in Milwaukee, Wisconsin today. The coins traveled nearly two million miles as the shuttle orbited the Earth. They will remain on display at the United States Mint booth # 1201 through Sunday, August 12.
With the media, convention attendees and invited guests gathered at the United States Mint booth, Director Moy and ANA Executive Director Chris Cipoletti removed a large curtain covering the exhibit to reveal the 22-karat gold coins that to date had never been seen by the public.
"The United States Mint is delighted to make these rare American treasures available to the public and the worldwide coin-collecting community," said Director Ed Moy. "Although their estimated value has not been established, there are only 12 of them in existence and they are unique as historic artifacts."
The gold numismatic versions were produced to create public awareness of the Sacagawea Golden Dollar, which went into general circulation in January 2000. Like the circulating coin, the 12 gold proof Golden Dollars feature an image of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who assisted Lewis and Clark on their 8,000-mile expedition.
Director Moy said, "These coins, which have been stored at the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, were struck to commemorate the historic flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia in July 1999, which was the first one commanded by a woman, Colonel Eileen Collins."
Following the unveiling of the coins, Director Moy signed commemorative post cards marking the historic occasion.
After the shuttle flight, the 12 half-ounce gold Sacagawea Golden Dollar coins were ultimately transferred to Fort Knox, where they've remained ever since.
The special pieces were struck at the United States Mint at Philadelphia on half-ounce gold planchets. They were inscribed with a "W" mint mark because the United States Mint planned to eventually mint duplicate coins at the United States Mint at West Point and sell the coins to the public. However, those plans were canceled.
After being displayed at the World's Fair of Money®, the 12 gold Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coins will be returned to Fort Knox. The United States Mint will entertain requests from museums and other institutions to display the coins.