The James Garfield Dollar Coin is a unique piece of American history that holds immense value for numismatists and history enthusiasts alike. This article will take you on a captivating journey through the origins, design, significance, and collectability of this rare coin. Join me as we explore the intriguing story behind the James Garfield Dollar Coin, its impact on American culture, and why it continues to capture the interest of coin collectors around the world.
The Legacy of James Garfield
Before delving into the James Garfield Dollar Coin, let’s first learn about the man behind the coin. James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, served from March 4, 1881, until his untimely death on September 19, 1881. Garfield was known for his exceptional intellect, unwavering dedication to public service, and his tragic assassination.
Born on November 19, 1831, in Orange Township, Ohio, James Garfield came from humble beginnings. He grew up on a small farm, worked various jobs to support his education, and eventually became a renowned lawyer and educator. Garfield’s political career began in the Ohio State Senate, followed by his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served with distinction for nearly two decades.
As President, Garfield focused on civil service reform, economic prosperity, and fostering a sense of unity among Americans. Tragically, his presidency was cut short when he was shot by an assassin at a train station in Washington, D.C. Although he fought valiantly for his life, Garfield succumbed to his injuries after 80 days, leaving behind a profound legacy.
The Birth of the James Garfield Dollar Coin
The idea of honoring James Garfield with a commemorative coin was first proposed in the early 2000s. The United States Mint, responsible for producing circulating coins, bullion, and commemorative coins, recognized the significance of Garfield’s presidency and his impact on American history.
In 2011, the United States Mint released the James Garfield Presidential $1 Coin as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program. This program aimed to honor the legacy of each U.S. President by issuing a series of circulating dollar coins featuring their portraits. The James Garfield Dollar Coin was the 20th coin released in this esteemed collection.
Design and Features
The James Garfield Dollar Coin showcases a meticulously crafted design that captures the essence of the President’s character and the era in which he lived. The obverse (front) of the coin features a striking portrait of James Garfield, created by United States Mint sculptor-engraver Phebe Hemphill. Garfield’s dignified gaze and the intricate detailing of his hair and facial features make this portrait a true work of art.
On the reverse (back) of the coin, you’ll find a depiction of the Statue of Liberty, a symbol deeply intertwined with American identity. The reverse design, created by United States Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart, pays homage to the principles of liberty and freedom that Garfield championed throughout his life and presidency.
Significance and Collectability
The James Garfield Dollar Coin holds immense significance for coin collectors and history enthusiasts. Its limited mintage, unique design, and association with a notable President make it a prized addition to any collection. Collectors value the coin not only for its aesthetic appeal but also for its historical and educational value.
One fascinating aspect of the James Garfield Dollar Coin is its connection to the broader Presidential $1 Coin Program. This program, launched in 2007, aimed to introduce a new circulating dollar coin series while educating the public about U.S. Presidents and their contributions. The program generated widespread interest and led to increased awareness of the rich history of American Presidents.
Rarity and Valuation
As with any collectible item, rarity plays a crucial role in determining the value of the James Garfield Dollar Coin. The United States Mint released the coin into circulation for a limited time, after which it became less readily available. Today, finding the James Garfield Dollar Coin in circulation is rare, making it highly sought after by collectors.
The value of the James Garfield Dollar Coin can vary depending on its condition, scarcity, and demand within the numismatic community. Collectors often pay a premium for coins in pristine condition, known as “mint state.” Additionally, coins with unique characteristics, such as errors or special markings, can command even higher prices at auctions and among specialized collectors.
Notable James Garfield Dollar Coin Sales
Over the years, several noteworthy James Garfield Dollar Coin sales have captured the attention of numismatists and coin enthusiasts worldwide. In 2019, a rare James Garfield Dollar Coin in near-perfect condition (graded MS-69) sold for an impressive $16,100 at a public auction. This sale highlighted the desirability and investment potential of this exceptional coin.
The James Garfield Dollar Coin serves as a tangible reminder of the life and legacy of the 20th President of the United States. Its exquisite design, limited availability, and historical significance make it a highly sought-after collectible among numismatists and history enthusiasts. Whether you’re an avid coin collector or simply intrigued by American history, the James Garfield Dollar Coin offers a captivating glimpse into the past and a connection to one of the nation’s most esteemed leaders.
FAQs about the James Garfield Dollar Coin
1. What is the James Garfield Dollar Coin?
The James Garfield Dollar Coin is a commemorative coin issued by the United States Mint as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Program. It honors the 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield.
2. How much is the James Garfield Dollar Coin worth?
The value of the James Garfield Dollar Coin can vary depending on factors such as its condition, rarity, and demand among collectors. In general, these coins can range in value from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, with exceptionally rare or well-preserved specimens commanding higher prices.
3. Where can I buy a James Garfield Dollar Coin?
You can find James Garfield Dollar Coins for sale at reputable coin dealers, online marketplaces, and auction houses specializing in numismatics. It’s essential to ensure the authenticity and condition of the coin before making a purchase.
4. Are James Garfield Dollar Coins still in circulation?
While the James Garfield Dollar Coin was released into circulation during its initial minting, it is no longer commonly found in everyday transactions. Collectors and enthusiasts typically acquire these coins through specialized channels.
5. Can I use the James Garfield Dollar Coin as legal tender?
Yes, the James Garfield Dollar Coin is legal tender in the United States. However, due to its collectible nature and potential value, it is advisable to consult with a coin expert before spending it.
6. How can I preserve the value of my James Garfield Dollar Coin?
To preserve the value of your James Garfield Dollar Coin, it is crucial to handle it with care and store it in a protective holder or case. Avoid exposing the coin to excessive heat, moisture, or harsh chemicals, as these can damage its condition and affect its value.