WASHINGTON — The United States Mint has revealed a new design for the Native American $1 Coin in 2010 based on the theme “Government — The Great Tree of Peace.”
The new coin depicts the Hiawatha Belt and five arrows bound together, with the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “$1,” “Haudenosaunee” and “Great Law of Peace.”
The Hiawatha Belt is a visual record of the creation of the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, with five symbols representing the five original Nations.
Ten years into a new effort to drum up support for the $1 coin, however, the denomination still hasn’t gained much traction. In the past three years, the Mint has produced approximately 1.8 billion dollar coins. In comparison, there were 9.5 billion dollar bills in circulation in 2008.
The Government Accountability Office estimates that the United States could save $522 million a year if it stopped printing dollar bills and minted dollar coins instead, but the government is still spending millions to promote co-circulation.
The Mint spent $11.7 million in 2008 on a four-month program designed to boost dollar-coin circulation in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Portland, Ore.; Charlotte, S.C.; and Austin, Texas. The program increased dollar coin payments by 24%.
The Mint also launched a business-to-business program in Washington, D.C., last year to stimulate demand for Presidential $1 coins nationwide. Disney parks are distributing Native American $1 coins as change through Dec. 13 as part of another circulation program.
Five $1 coins are planned for release each year: four Presidential $1 coins and one Native American $1 coin. Under the Native American $1 Coin Act, the Mint is minting and issuing the $1 coins to recognize Native Americans for their contributions to the development and history of the United States.