New Issue: Iconic footballer, Olympian Jim Thorpe on U.S. Native American $1 coin

The U.S. Mint has commemorated athlete Jim Thorpe’s contributions to American sports and culture on the reverse of its 2018 Native American $1 coin.

The coins, which feature circulating finishes, have never been placed into circulation. They were minted at the Denver and Philadelphia Mints.

This year’s reverse design depicts Thorpe while the foreground highlights his achievements in football and as an Olympian. Inscriptions are “JIM THORPE,” “WA-THO- HUK” (Thorpe’s native name), “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and “$1.”


A member of the Sac and Fox Nation, Thorpe was the first Native American to win a gold medal for his country. He won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon and played U.S. football at the collegiate and professional levels; professional baseball; and basketball.

The coins have a circulating finish but have never been placed into circulation.

Despite his success, Thorpe lost his Olympic titles after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) discovered he was paid for playing two seasons of baseball before competing in the Olympics. This violated the IOC’s amateurism rules; however, in 1983, Thorpe’s medals were restored.

Thorpe was also the first president of the American Professional Football Association, which was a precursor to the National Football League.


Denomination $1
Composition Six per cent zinc
3.5 per cent manganese
Two per cent nickel
Balance copper
Weight 8.1 grams
Diameter 26.49 mm
Edge Lettered
Mint and mint mark Philadelphia – P
Denver – D

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