New $1 Coins Presented At Ash Lawn-Highland

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James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins Head into Circulation Nationwide on ValentineÂ?s Day

Monroe with kids

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Ash Lawn-Highland, the estate of President James Monroe in Charlottesville, Virginia, was the first place in the Nation to obtain James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins, a day before the coins were officially placed into circulation nationwide. The news media and public were invited to the 11 a.m. ceremony and coin exchange on Wednesday, February 13.

In a brief ceremony before the coin exchange, the new James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins was presented to the American people, with a ceremonial “pour” of hundreds of shiny, new coins. The Acting Deputy Director of the United States Mint, Dan Shaver, joined Ash Lawn-Highland’s Executive Director, Carolyn Coggin Holmes, James Monroe Memorial Foundation President J. William Thomas Jr. and James Monroe re-enactor Dennis Bigelow for the event.

“We are honored to be selected by the United States Mint for this historic event. How timely to have it when we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Monroe’s birth,” said Executive Director Carolyn Holmes. “The College of William and Mary, Monroe’s alma mater, joins us in paying tribute to this remarkable President.”

Fifteen first-graders from Free Union Country School, in Charlottesville, watched as President Monroe (re-enactor Dennis Bigelow) presented his new coin to the audience, “You youngsters are the first in the nation to view this most prestigious coin.”

Monroe’s Presidency was known as “The Era of Good Feelings,” and he was one of the country’s most popular chief executives. Monroe served as the Nation’s fifth President from 1817 to 1825, and accordingly this is the United States Mint’s fifth Presidential $1 Coin. When President Monroe took office, the War of 1812 had ended, the Nation was expanding beyond the original 13 colonies, and there were few political conflicts. When re-elected in 1820, President James Monroe won all but one of the electoral votes in every state. Dozens of towns, cities and counties nationwide are named for Monroe.

“The James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin is a Valentine to a great President,” said Acting United States Mint Deputy Director Dan Shaver. “We hope that when people spend this coin, they’ll remember it was James Monroe who oversaw the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase, who distinguished himself as a soldier in the Revolutionary War and who served his Nation as a U.S. Senator, Minister to France and Spain and as Secretary of State and Secretary of War. James Monroe made remarkable contributions to our Nation.”

The design of the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin, like all of the Presidential $1 Coins, was created to be bold and dramatic. Edge-lettering draws attention to the inscriptions, “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust,” as well as the date and the mint mark.

The obverse (heads side) of the James Monroe $1 Coin was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Joseph Menna. The reverse (tails side) on all the Presidential $1 Coins is a magnificent image of the Statue of Liberty, designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

To download an image of the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin, go to:


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Mary Anne Benvenutti

Carolyn Hughes
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