The new 2019 Delaware American Innovation $1 coin, honoring Annie Jump Cannon, marks the first of 56 new dollar coins commemorating the nation's pivotal innovators and innovations. Cannon, born in 1863, was a pioneering astronomer who was pivotal in developing stellar classification and star charts. Along with Harvard's Edward C. Pickering, Cannon helped devise the Harvard Classification Scheme to organize and classify stars contingent on their spectral types and temperatures.
Why honor Cannon first? Because she hailed from Delaware, the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. And, like the popular 50 State Quarters that 20 years ago also began with "The First State," the American Innovation $1 coin will recognize each innovation or innovator in the order which the associated state was admitted to the Union or became a United States territory. The Northern Mariana Islands will be featured on the last quarter, to be issued in 2032.
The Delaware American Innovation $1 coin was released September 19, 2019. While the Delaware dollar coin is not being released into general circulation, coin collectors can order these new dollar coins in 25-coin rolls or 100-coin bags directly from the United States Mint. Both the Philadelphia and Denver Mint is producing the Delaware dollar, the reverse of which was designed by artist Donna Weaver and sculptor-engraver Joseph Menna. The obverse, common to all American Innovation dollars, features the Statue of Liberty and was designed by Justin Kunz and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. Proof sets containing the four dollar coins to be released this year will be offered on October 11, 2019.