Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sculptor Sells Coins She Helped Design Pay from Mint May Be Shinier

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Sculptor Sells Coins She Helped Design Pay from Mint May Be Shinier

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- The sculptor whose version of the Indian woman Sacagawea is on the front of the golden dollar coins appears to have the Midas touch.

As payment for her work, Glenna Goodacre received 5,000 of the coins from the U.S. Mint last year. She decided to sell half of them -- one at a time -- for $200 apiece, ringing up $500,000.

Experts insist that Goodacre's golden dollars are different from those found in pocket change and from uncirculated golden dollars, which have no wear and are bought by collectors.

They believe Goodacre's coins were specially burnished, or polished, after being struck. That would make them look more shiny than regular and uncirculated coins, adding to their appeal to collectors. But the Mint said that's not the case.

"Nothing special was done. If you bought the standard uncirculated set, they are the same coins produced the same way," said Mint spokesman Michael White. The Mint sells an uncirculated coin set, which includes a golden dollar, for $14.95.

The new dollar coins feature the image of the Shoshone Indian who accompanied explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to the Pacific Ocean in 1805. The coins have proved popular with collectors since their debut in January 2000.

In April, Mint Director Philip Diehl and other officials delivered the 5,000 coins to Goodacre's Santa Fe, N.M., studio.

"They were not run-of-the-mill coins. They were special," Goodacre said. "I did not request it and it wasn't until later I found out they were specially treated."

Several months later, Goodacre contacted Independent Coin Grading Co. …

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