American Innovation® $1 Coin – Missouri

American Innovation $1 Coin Program


The American Innovation $1 Coin representing Missouri honors George Washington Carver, agricultural scientist, inventor, and educator.

George Washington Carver was born into slavery in Missouri at the end of the Civil War. In the 1890s, he studied botany and agriculture at Iowa State Agricultural College. He then joined the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama at the invitation of Booker T. Washington. He taught agricultural methods at Tuskegee for 47 years.

In the South, cotton was the primary cash crop, despite it creating poor quality soil due to nutrient depletion. Carver wanted to improve the life of poor farmers trying to make a living growing cotton. He taught methods such as crop rotation, which alternated cotton with nitrate-producing legumes like peanuts and peas. The cotton depleted the soil of its nutrients while the legumes restored nitrogen. This method improved crop yields and was more cost-effective than using commercial fertilizer.

Carver investigated alternative crops to cotton that would grow well in the South. Then in an effort to create demand for these crops, he developed industrial and commercial uses for them. Through his research he discovered hundreds of different uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, pecans, and others, including flour, cosmetics, and paints.

George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943. That year Congress created the George Washington Carver National Monument at the site of his boyhood home in Missouri.

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The obverse (heads) design features a dramatic representation of the Statue of Liberty in profile. The obverse also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation.

The reverse (tails) design presents a depiction of George Washington Carver gently smiling while examining a sample of his work in his laboratory.  The leaves, blossoms, and fruits of a peanut plant weave between scientific equipment.

Reverse Inscriptions


Incused (edge) Inscriptions

  • 2024
  • Mint mark

Mint and Mint Mark


Composition Weight Diameter Thickness Edge Finishes
88.5% Cu
6% Zn
3.5% Mn
2% Ni
8.1 g
1.043 in.
26.49 mm
2.00 mm Edge-Lettering

Artist Information

Obverse Reverse Content last reviewed December 8, 2023

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