Women’s profiles on paper currency and coins have come a long way since 1891, when Martha Washington was featured on a $1 silver certificate. In fact, in this new century, there are more choices than ever before to assemble collections that honor American women’s contributions. We’re going to look at three opportunities: Native American coins, Prominent Women in U.S. History and 2020 Presidential Candidates.
Native American Coins
The U.S. Mint turned a major spotlight on Native Americans by issuing dollar coins with Sacagawea, Lewis & Clark’s Shoshone guide, on the obverse. Then it increased the wattage by initiating one-year-only reverse designs. The new reverse for 2020 features civil rights activist Elizabeth Peratrovich of the Tlingit (pronounced “Klinkit”) Nation in Alaska.
In 1945, Peratrovich successfully lobbied for the passage of the first Anti-Discrimination Law – not only in the territory of Alaska, but also in the country. The stunning design by U.S. Mint medallic artist Phebe Hemphill features Peratrovich’s portrait along with the Tlingit Raven moiety, or lineage, from which she is descended (the other is the Eagle/Wolf).
The 2020 reverse design follows the previous year’s tribute to the U.S. space program by featuring mathematical engineer Mary G. Ross of the Cherokee Nation, the first known Native American and woman to have worked on the program. Littleton Coin offers both the PDS golden dollars as well as this colorized reverse done by our artists of the Ross reverse.
Prominent Women in U.S. History
Littleton Coin launched a fascinating series about women whose courage, determination and grit shaped the country we recognize today. Our artists have exclusively colorized their portraits on Presidential dollars and Silver American Eagles, plus designed visually attractive folders with pockets for the informative story cards that go with each coin. The two newest colorized issues of Prominent Women in U.S. History honor the acclaimed author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou, and the daring Clara Barton, whose life-saving deliveries of medical supplies during the Civil War to her founding the American Red Cross.
Coins usually achieve collectible status when they’re no longer available to the general public. In June of 2019, Littleton Coin made a bold move to colorize Kennedy half dollars with all the then-declared Republican and Democratic candidates running for the White House. Each colorized coin is presented in a clear coin capsule.
Six candidates were Democratic women – an impressive number, all after one thing: to be chosen as the party’s presidential candidate. Since then, three have withdrawn from the race: lawyer and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and author/spiritual advisor Marianne Williamson, both of California, and lawyer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
As of this writing, women candidates still in the race for the Democratic party nod are law school professor and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Army National Guard major and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and lawyer and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Littleton Coin has all the candidates available on our website. The women candidates running to be the first female president, however, represent a unique, long-term opportunity. And isn’t that what a collection is all about?