The Innovation Series was enacted on January 3rd 2018 the Act reads:
“To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition of American
innovation and significant innovation and pioneering efforts of individuals or
groups from each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the United
States territories, to promote the importance of innovation in the United States,
the District of Columbia, and the United States territories, and for other purposes.”
If you want to read the full Act that brought this coinage to fruition you can read it here.
A Great Idea On an Underutilized Coin
Once again, the US Mint attempts to make the dollar coin popular. While I love the idea of applauding American Innovation, I am disappointed to see these designs being pushed onto the dollar coins. I doubt these coins will see much use in general circulation.
Even the now-popular Peace and Morgan dollars were not popular from 1878-1935. Where the large dollar coins saw the most use was casinos. Similarly, smaller dollar coins today are usually received as change from parking meters or vending machines. The US population is accustomed to $1 bills and has so far been unwilling to change to dollar coins.
While we are still very new to this series of coins, so far the two most popular have been the Maryland (2020) Hubble Space Telescope Dollar Coin and the Massachusetts (2020) Telephone Dollar Coin.
Notice that none of these coins have people on them, that was intentional! Congress wanted the coins to honor the innovation more than the innovator. The act explicitly states:
PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN REPRESENTATIONS.—No
head and shoulders portrait or bust of any person and
no portrait of a living person may be included in the
design of any coin issued under this subsection.
Will the American Innovation Series Coins Increase in Value?
I could definitely see the American Innovation Series increasing in value in the long term. Currently, these coins have not gained much popularity with collectors or the general population. Even the Reverse Proof Sets (which collectors usually go wild over) have been slow to sell out even with mintage numbers at 50,000.
My prediction that the Innovation Dollar coins will appreciate in value may be optimistic, however. Consider how many dollar coins the US Mint produces and how little they are circulated. In a few decades we may still have innovation dollar coins that have barely been touched.
If you are looking to make a profit off US minted coins, the Innovation Series is probably not the one to bet on, instead focusing on coins with silver value could be a more profitable long-term endeavor.
The Learning Element
I love when a mint decides to incorporate elements on coins to teach people about the country they live in. It’s interesting to travelers and young kids who often spend more time looking at coins.
The benefit of the Innovation Series being on the dollar coins is that most people are not familiar with dollar coins. Since these coins are scarce in everyday transactions people are compelleed to take a better look at dollar coins when they do get them. (It also causes coin forums to be flooded with photos of dollar coins with the caption “What is this worth?!?”)
Delaware – Classifying the stars
Pennsylvania – Polio vaccine
New Jersey – Light bulb
Georgia – Trustees’ Garden
Connecticut – Gerber variable scale
Massachusetts – Telephone
Maryland – Hubble Space Telescope
South Carolina – Septima Clark
New Hampshire – Home video game system
Virginia – Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
New York – Erie Canal
North Carolina – First public university
District of Columbia
U.S. Virgin Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
What do you think of the American Innovation Series? Share your comments below and vote in our poll!