MARTHA WASHINGTON TRIAL PIECES
||Beginning in 1999, when
the U.S. Mint sought to replace the unsuccessful Susan B.
Anthony Dollar with a new plain-edged golden
dollar, the government invited outside contractors, such
as Olin Brass, PMX Industries, and IDX Inc. to experiment
with new alloys and to test strike the planchets.
The Mint created "fantasy" dies to be used in striking the trial pieces. The design features a portrait of Martha Washington with the date 1759 on the obverse. This was the year that George and Martha were married. Washingtons Virginia home at Mount Vernon is on the reverse. Neither the denomination nor issuing country are noted on the piece.
The Martha Washington design was first used in 1965 to test various metals to find one suitable to replace the silver used in the Dime, Quarter and Half Dollar. It was used again in 1982 to test new materials when the Cent was changed from bronze to copper coated zinc. The obverse was designed by Edward P. Grove and the reverse was designed by Philip Fowler, engravers at the U.S. Mint in the 1960's.
I would like to give a special
thanks to American Numismatic Rarities, LLC
for use of the photo on this page and much of the information that accompanies it.