Every American is familiar with the likeness of George Washington, the nation’s first president, on the one-dollar bill. But did you know that there’s a special one-dollar coin that has his face on it too? It was the first in a series of one-dollar coins that honored U.S. presidents launched in 2007.
If you want to see the current values of regular U.S. dollar mintages, check out the rest of our Coin Value Checker guides. But today, we’ll focus on the ultra-special George Washington one-dollar coin—the very first issue of the Presidential $1 Coin program.
Ready to learn more about this historic coin? Keep scrolling to know more about the 1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin value, history, and a strange error that made headlines around the country. Here’s a hint—it’s definitely worth more than just a dollar today!
1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin Value Chart
|AU58 About Uncirculated
|MS66 Gem Uncirculated
|MS68 Superb Gem Uncirculated
|MS70 Perfect Uncirculated
|1789-1797 “P” George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
|1789-1797 “D” George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
|1789-1797 “D” George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
|Has sold for over $1,000
Table of Contents
- The First Coin in the Presidential Dollar Series
- 1789-1797 “P” George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
- 1789-1797 “D” George Washington One Dollar Coin
- 1789-1797 Missing Edge Lettering George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
- 1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin Grading
- 1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin Errors
The First Coin in the Presidential Dollar Series
In late 2005, President George W. Bush signed a law that authorized the minting of special one dollar coins to commemorate every president in U.S. history. Every president would get their portrait on a gold-colored dollar coin. This effort was called the Presidential $1 Coin Program.
The dollar coins were to be minted in the order of who was first in office. That meant the great George Washington would be the first on the coins of this series. And so, the 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coin was the first to be minted and circulated in early 2007.
Over 340,000,000 of these coins were minted that year. On the obverse, we see Washington’s stern, regal portrait facing left. Above him is his name, and below him, it reads “1st President 1789-1797.
This coin’s reverse looks the same as the rest of the coins in the collection. It shows the Statue of Liberty with the denomination of $1 and “United States of America” around the rim. The word “Liberty” is notably not on the coin. The Statue of Liberty already represents this American ideal.
The edge of the coin is uniquely engraved with the Latin credo “E pluribus unum.” It also shows the year 2007, the mint mark, and the phrase “In God We Trust.”
1789-1797 “P” George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
Philadelphia minted 176.7 million 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coins in 2007. Most U.S. coins don’t have a mint mark if they’re made in the Philly Mint. But in the presidential dollar coins, you’ll see a tiny “P” in the engraving on the edges of the coin.
Although the coins were made for legal tender, most of these George Washington dollar coins were kept in the reserve. Many are still in storage in banks to this date, making them quite scarce.
Even in circulated, extremely fine condition, this coin is worth a little more than its face value of a dollar at $1.05. In AU58—the highest about-uncirculated grade for coins—it sits at $1.25.
The coin hits double its face value in a mint-state grade of MS62 at $2 apiece. One grade up at MS63 and the value increases a bit to $2.50, but as far back as 2008, some first-day issues sold for over $10.
In higher mint-state conditions, the price shoots up more. An MS66 coin will cost you $15, while an MS68 is worth around $75 today.
1789-1797 “D” George Washington One Dollar Coin
Denver also minted a sizable number of 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coins, totaling just shy of 163.7 million coins. Like the Philly-minted coins, many of these “D” mint mark dollars are still kept in reserves today.
You usually see a stark difference in prices between coins struck in different mints. Surprisingly, the value of the “P” and “D” mint mark George Washington dollar coins are the same across all grades.
Like the Philadelphia coins, the Denver-minted ones are valued at $1.05 to $1.25 from circulated to about-uncirculated grades. They also go up to a price of $75 in the highest mint states available—in this case, MS68.
1789-1797 Missing Edge Lettering George Washington One Dollar Coin Value
The final variety of these George Washington one dollar coins is the one with the missing edge lettering. This error was discovered less than a month after the coins were first minted.
Over 50,000 George Washington dollars were released without the Latin creed, mintage year, mint mark, and “In God We Trust” slogan on its edge. Some news headlines called it the “Godless dollar” because of it.
Because the only way you could tell where the coins were minted was by looking at the mint mark on the edge, no one knew if these coins were coming from the Philadelphia or Denver Mint.
As many collectors know, mint errors make coins more valuable. This is the case with the 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coins with missing edge lettering.
An AU58 coin of this variety will set you back about $30—a price more expensive than an MS66 George Washington coin with the engraving. These coins are most common in grades MS64 and MS65, where they’re worth $55-60.
While there’s no estimate for an MS70 coin with this error, it is known to have sold in the past for up to over a thousand dollars!
1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin Grading
A 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coin will always be special. But what really determines the monetary value of this coin is its grade and condition.
Collectors turn to different agencies and coin organizations to get their U.S. coins graded. However, that can be a bit expensive. If you have a magnifying glass and some basic knowledge of coin grading, you can assess your George Washington one dollar coin at home.
Here are some notes to see what grade your dollar coin might fall under:
- Circulated (Extremely Fine): These coins have light wear from circulation but all the elements are still clear. Bold lines may not be so sharp anymore, but you can still make out the full design. Clear wear on George Washington’s hair and other fine features.
- AU58 About Uncirculated: Very slight contact marks and wear visible only under a microscope or magnifying glass. Otherwise, the luster is shiny and full.
- Uncirculated MS64 and up: Very beautiful luster with one or two contact marks, possibly none at all. Letter engraving on the edges and portrait of Washington are very sharp.
Need more help assessing your 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coins to figure out their grade? Watch this step-by-step guide on how to do it by Couch Collectibles:
1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coin Errors
Because the presidential coins were special issues, there aren’t many errors you can find in them. For the 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coin, the missing edge lettering is already the biggest error.
Check out how these George Washington dollar coins with missing edge lettering look like (as well as other errors on the U.S. Presidential coins) through this video by BlueRidgeSilverhound:
Back in 2007, people thought that this error would be found in many of the future presidential one dollar coins. And they were right! You can see coin varieties with missing edge lettering for the presidential dollars that honor John Adams, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and more.
1789-1797 George Washington Dollar Coin Doubled Edge Lettering Error
Another error that has been found on a 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coin is a doubled edge lettering. It’s quite the opposite of words missing on the edge. Instead, this error shows a faint second lettering, as if it was stamped twice.
This isn’t the case though. Coins with this error can blame the doubling on a damaged or malfunctioned die that creates a doubling on its pattern. So, even if the coin is struck with the die just once, it looks like it had been hit twice.
The 1789-1797 George Washington one dollar coin with this error was an MS64 coin and was auctioned off for $300.
Are one dollar coins real gold?
While the 1789-1797 George Washington One Dollar Coins look gold in color, they’re actually not made of pure gold. They are made from an alloy composed of different metals, including copper, zinc, manganese, and nickel.
What is the rarest 1 dollar coin?
Many one-dollar coins in U.S. mintage history are rare because over the decades, they have been melted down. This makes them incredibly scarce.
But perhaps the rarest one out there is the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar—otherwise known as the first U.S. dollar ever struck. Just over a hundred of these coins were minted, making them difficult to find today. These pure silver coins can go up to $1,000,000 at grade MS64.