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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This Valentine's Day, the newest Presidential $1 Coin will go into circulation, honoring James Monroe, a president who was beloved in his time.
Monroe's presidency was known as "The Era of Good Feelings," and he was one of the country's most popular chief executives. He served as the nation's fifth president from 1817 to 1825 and, accordingly, this is the United States Mint's fifth Presidential $1 Coin.
"The James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin is a tribute to a great President," Acting United States Mint Deputy Director Dan Shaver said in a statement, announcing the coin's release. "We hope that when people spend this coin, they'll remember that Monroe distinguished himself as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and served his nation as a U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and finally as our fifth President. Above all, he was widely known for his exceptional energy, character, and poise. President James Monroe made remarkable contributions to our nation."
Today, the hometown of James and Elizabeth Monroe, Ash Lawn-Highland near Charlottesville, Va., will become the first place in the nation where Americans may obtain the new James Monroe Presidential $1 Coins a day before they go into full circulation. There will be a brief ceremony, and a coin exchange will follow.
The design of the James Monroe Presidential $1 Coin -- like all of the Presidential $1 Coins -- was created to be bold and dramatic. Edge-lettering draws attention to the inscriptions "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust," as well as the date and the mint mark. Next year, the 2009 Presidential $1 Coins will bear "In God We Trust" on the front or back of the coin, as mandated by Congress in December 2007, the U.S. Mint stated.
The United States Mint inaugurated the Presidential $1 Coin Series with the George Washington Presidential $1 Coin on Feb. 15, 2007, in time for Presidents Day weekend. The John Adams Presidential $1 Coin followed on May 17, 2007, the Thomas Jefferson Presidential $1 Coin was launched on Aug. 16, 2007, and the James Madison Presidential $1 Coin went into circulation on Nov. 15, 2007.
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue Presidential $1 Coins honoring the United States Presidents in the order in which they served, with four new designs put into circulation annually.