Innovators and inventions from New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, and North Carolina are the next to be honored through the American Innovation® $1 Coin Program.
During a recent announcement, the United States Mint revealed the subjects of each coin’s design, all part of the multi-year American Innovation® program that began in 2018. The Mint issues four new coins each year, ultimately issuing a coin for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. The Mint works with governor’s offices from each state and experts in the featured subjects to determine the design of each coin. After design concepts are completed, they are reviewed by the Secretary of the Treasury, and a final design is chosen.
“The very nature of this program provides an opportunity for us to become better connected with each other by learning about the many contributions, thoughts, and ideas Americans continuously mesh together to propel our nation forward,” stated United States Mint Director David J. Ryder in a press release issued by the U.S. Mint.
Below are the details about each of the four 2021 American Innovation® $1 Coins.
American Innovation® – New Hampshire
Designer: Christina Hess
Sculptor-Engraver: Eric David Custer
The New Hampshire $1 Coin recognizes Ralph Baer and his creation of the first home video game console. This design depicts Ralph Baer’s brown box game “Handball” on the right side of the coin. The left side of the coin features “New Hampshire” and “Player 1” on an incused background. “IN HOME VIDEO GAME SYSTEM” and “RALPH BAER” encircle the outside of the coin in a text that is meant to pay homage to Ralph Baer’s Odyssey game. The design of the coin is also symbolic of an arcade token.
American Innovation® – Virginia
Designer: Matt Swaim
Sculptor-Engraver: John P. McGraw
The Virginia $1 Coin recognizes the engineering marvel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. This design depicts the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel view as a cross-section cutaway, illustrating the ingenuity involved in construction. Inscriptions are “VIRGINIA” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
American Innovation® – New York
Designer: Ronald D. Sanders
Sculptor-Engraver: Phebe Hemphill
The New York $1 Coin pays homage to the Erie Canal. This design depicts a packet boat being pulled from a city in the East toward the country areas to the West. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “NEW YORK.”
American Innovation® – North Carolina
Designer: Ronald D. Sanders
Sculptor-Engraver: Joseph Menna
The North Carolina $1 Coin acknowledges the first public institution of higher learning in the United States. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill opened its doors in 1795 and was the only public institution to confer degrees in the 18th century. This design features a stack of three textbooks with “First Public University” on the spine of the middle book. A lamp of knowledge is perched atop the books, and olive branches curve around the edge of the design. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “NORTH CAROLINA.”
The obverse design of American Innovation® $1 Coins features a dramatic representation of the Statue of Liberty in profile with the inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “$1.” The design also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation.