Are Presidential Dollar Coins Worth Anything?In 2007, the U.S. Mint began production of Presidential Dollar Coins intending to mint a coin for every POTUS. The project was quickly deemed a failure due to limited public usage and a lack of demand. The gold shimmer and official status of this coinage lead many investors to wonder: Are presidential dollar coins worth anything?

Background of Presidential Dollar Coins

The creation of Presidential Dollar Coins was outlined in the bipartisan Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. President George H. W. Bush signed the bill into law and oversaw the launch of the program, officially called the Presidential $1 Coin Program, on January 1, 2007. Initially, the program aimed to mint a $1 coin for each former president in chronological order at a rate of four presidents annually. A president had to be deceased for a minimum of two years before the minting of their coin would begin.

The government sought to achieve various goals through the Presidential Dollar Coins. First and foremost, the coin program was designed to boost public use of $1 coins which had failed with the Sacagawea dollar coin. At the time, it was estimated the government could save over $5 billion by transitioning from $1 bills to coins of equivalent value. Legislators also wanted to improve the public’s knowledge of US presidents.

From 2007 to 2011, Presidential Dollar Coins were minted for circulation. However, the commemorative coinage failed to generate the anticipated demand. In fact, the public rejected the coins to an extent that made it financially irresponsible to continue. By 2011, over 1.4 billion Presidential Dollar Coins had accumulated in federal vaults due to a lack of acceptance by Americans. In December 2011, merely five years after the program began, the government suspended the production of these coins.

In 2012, the program pivoted from targeting everyday consumers to collectors. The government hoped the collectible appeal of Presidential Dollar Coins would be a strong selling point. This second stretch saw lower mintages from Chester A. Arthur onwards. The program paused in 2016 after the Ronald Reagan coin as he was the last eligible president at the time.

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In 2020, the program was resurrected to commemorate George H. W. Bush – the initial signer of the act – who had recently become eligible given the two-year posthumous requirement. This revival was accompanied by a First Spouse program which issues coins featuring the wives of previous presidents. These new Presidential Dollar Coins are only produced in proof versions, reflecting the ongoing effort to focus on collectors.

Presidential Dollar Coins Features


Presidential Dollar Coins feature the bust of a US president which is usually taken from famous paintings or images. The name of the president is emblazoned above with their chronological title (i.e. 1st PRESIDENT for George Washington) and the dates they held office below.

The reverse side depicts the Statue of Liberty set to the bottom right of the coin. The face value of the coin “$1” is inscribed to the left of Liberty and “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircles the three-quarters of the coin’s perimeter.

The edge of the Presidential Dollar Coin is engraved with 13 stars to commemorate the original colonies, the US motto “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, the coin’s mint mark, and the mint year. The Presidential Dollar Coins were the first piece of circulating American coinage with lettered edges since the iconic Saint Gaudens Double Eagle ceased production nearly 75 years prior.

Composition & Face Value

Despite their unmistakable gold appearance, Presidential Dollar Coins don’t have any gold content. Instead, they’re comprised of a metal alloy similar to that of other circulating coins such as quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies. More specifically, Presidential Dollar Coins consist of 88.5% copper, 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese, and 2% nickel. These gold-plated coins have a face value of $1. In contrast, the off-shoot coins minted under the First Spouse program boast .9999 gold fineness and a denominational value of $10.

Are presidential dollar coins worth anything?

The overwhelming majority of Presidential Dollar Coins aren’t worth more than their melt value. This lack of inherent value is due to a few key characteristics:

No Precious Metals Contents – Unlike many American gold or silver coins, Presidential Dollar Coins don’t contain precious metals. The base metals comprising these coins aren’t worth much given their widespread availability.

High Production – Even the lowest mintages of Presidential Dollar Coins saw tens of thousands of units produced. This abundance has prevented these coins from achieving any sense of scarcity, keeping their prices low.

Low Demand – Presidential Dollar Coins failed to gain popularity among consumers for everyday transactions and even among collectors. This general lack of demand combined with high production leads to a surplus which hurts a coin’s value in numismatic markets.

These modern, circulated coins were never intended to be used as investment vehicles. The government clearly outlined its principle objectives of using Presidential Dollar Coins as everyday coinage. These intentions are reflected in the widescale production and use of base metals.

Presidential Dollar Coin Errors

Although most Presidential Dollar Coins aren’t worth more than their denominational value, there are notable exceptions. In the early years of production, some coins experienced unique minting errors which have made these coins more sought-after than their mistake-free counterparts. These Presidential Dollar Coins tend to be worth the most:

2007 George Washington: No Edge Lettering

An estimated 50,000 coins Washington coins were released into circulation without edge lettering. Some versions are completely bare while others might only be missing one particular inscription. They range significantly in value from $16 to over $1,000, according to Professional Coin Grading Services auction records.

2007 John Adams: No Edge Lettering

There are also some John Adams coins with empty edges that escaped the eyes of US Mint officials. These coins are generally considered rarer than their Washington cousins, attributing to their higher value. These Presidential Dollar Coins have fetched anywhere between $31 and $3,335.

2007-P John Adams: Double-Edge Lettering

Some John Adams coins feature double-edge lettering errors which happens when a coin is accidentally passed through the lettering machine twice. These rare coins come in two versions: “overlapped” and “inverted”. The former is when the lettering lines up and the latter is when the two strikes are upside down in relation. The most valuable “overlapped” version sold for $288, while the highest valued “inverted” version fetched $489.

👉 Suggested Reading: The Difference Between Collectible and Rare Coins

Even the rarest and most in-demand Presidential Dollar Coins fail to yield much of a return for investors. Generally, it’s advisable to avoid investing in commemorative coins because of their limited inherent value and lack of precious metals contents. True investment-worthy coins are comprised of gold, silver, and other precious metals and boast a slew of additional numismatic features.

If you’re interested in learning more about what precious metals assets are worthwhile, grab a FREE copy of our Precious Metals Investment Guide. It covers everything you need to know about diversifying with gold and silver.