The 1994 Silver Dollar was struck "in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson." Though authorized for 1993 - the 250th anniversary year of his April 13, 1743 birth - the coin was not issued until 1994. It is one of eight US commemorative coin programs struck during 1993 / 1994; it was not approved until December 14, 1993 which did not leave enough time for a 1993 release.
The obverse design of the coin presents a left-facing portrait of Thomas Jefferson, it is flanked by the anniversary dates "1743" and "1993." The design was the work of US Mint Sculptor-Engraver T. James Ferrell
; Ferrell modeled his Jefferson portrait after the "Medallion" portrait of Jefferson painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1805; Stuart was paid $100 by Jefferson for the portrait.Medallion Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Gilbert Stuart, 1805(Image Credit: Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. Public Domain.)
The coin's reverse design presents a depiction of Monticello, Jefferson's self-designed house in Virginia, from the front (roughly a center-line view). Ferrell created the reverse design as well, based on photographs taken as part of the National Park Service's Historical American Buildings Survey. (The survey program was begun in 1933 with the aim of documenting America's architectural Heritage
; images from the survey can be found in the Library of Congress. You can read more about the survey program here: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
.)Monticello, Front VIew(Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain.)
The 0.900 fine Silver Dollar was struck in Proof and Uncirculated versions. Total mintage for the design was 599,818 (332, 891 in Proof / 266,927 in Uncirculated (including the 167,703 coins featured in the Coinage and Currency Set)). The Proof version of the coin was struck at the Branch Mint in San Francisco; the Uncirculated version at the Main Mint in Philadelphia. Both coins include a mint mark on their reverse.
Per the coin's authorizing legislation, the surcharges collected on sales of the coin (a surcharge of $10 was included in the price of each coin), were to be split between the Jefferson Endowment Fund and the Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Surcharges collected from the first 500,000 coins sold went to the Endowment Fund to endow an ongoing support fund for Monticello and its historic furnishings, as well as to support the Fund's educational initiatives. Any remaining surcharge funds were designated for the Poplar Forest group to restore and maintain Poplar Forest (Jefferson's "vacation" house). The Endowment Fund received $5 million, the Poplar Forest Corporation, just under $1 million. The Mint had a net profit of ~$200,000 - small, but at least a profit! - from the program.Poplar Forest, South Elevation(Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain.)
The Regular Issue price for the Proof Silver Dollar was $35.00; for the Uncirculated coin, it was $32.00. As usual, I picked up an Uncirculated coin for my collection.1994 Thomas Jefferson 250th Anniversary of Birth Silver Dollar
For more of my posts about commemorative coins and medals, including others about Modern US Commemorative Coins, see: Commems Collection
For a discussion of the Thomas Jefferson Coinage and Currency Set referenced above, see:
- 1994 Thomas Jefferson Coinage and Currency Set