December 10th, 2012

Design pays tribute to tribe’s treaty, nature ties

By MintState

In case you haven’t caught a glimpse, the U.S. Mint has unveiled the design for the 2013 $1 Native American series. The design, pictured here, honors the Delaware Tribe and its place in history as the first Native American tribe to sign a treaty with the newly developed U.S. government during its formative years. As with previous coins in the series, the obverse will feature the portrait of Sacajawea, while the reverse includes depictions of a howling wolf, a turkey and a turtle, which all hold a significant place in the lore of the Delaware Tribe. The 13 stars also displayed on the reverse represent the country’s original colonies, which the Delaware Tribe had a significant hand in assisting during the United States’ earliest days.

As the legend goes, the burgeoning U.S. government worked to develop relationships with Native American tribes as they fought for independence from Britain. During that process, the Delaware Tribe was the first to sign on as part of the Delaware Treaty of 1778, which essentially granted U.S. troops access to pass through tribal lands to attack a British installment in Detroit, Michigan. For their cooperation, the Delaware Tribe not only became the first tribe officially recognized by the new government, but was also the first to have its sovereignty recognized by the federal system.

In terms of the dollar series, the design is the latest to honor Native American contributions to the country’s founding, with past designs featuring the 2009 “Three Sisters” portrayal of Native Americans planting crops, as well as the 2010 edition that centered on Native American government organization and the Great Law of Peace. The series switched to focusing on diplomacy and the use of treaties in 2011, with the first piece focusing on the formation of an agreement between settlers at Plymouth Rock and the Great Wampanoag Nation.  

With recent examples of the coin being minted in extremely limited numbers – less than 6 million pieces of the 2012 Native American dollar were minted, compared to the some 77.5 million coins put out in 2011 – collectors can expect the new issue to be a hard piece to come by. Considering the anticipation of another limited mintage, hobbyists would be wise to snap up any pieces they can before they start to run short in supply. Keep watching Coins of America to find out when you can acquire these new designs in the ongoing Native American $1 series!

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