Year: 2004 bicentennial silver dollar commemorating Lewis and Clark

To commemorate the two-hundred-year anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's launch, the Mint struck the 2004 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar. Both the proof and uncirculated versions were made public on May 12th of that year.

At President Thomas Jefferson's invitation, an expedition under the command of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark ventured into the mostly uncharted territories of the recently acquired Louisiana Purchase.

There was no passable water route across the continent, therefore their main goal was to discover one. However, the voyage made contact with several Native American tribes, found many flora and animals, and claimed the Pacific Northwest.

Public Law 106-126, the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, gave Congress the green light to mint these coins. Based on demand, the statute authorized the striking of up to half a million coins.

On the front of every 2004 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar is a portrait of the expedition's two captains, William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, who served as its commanders.

Jefferson and Lewis' bicentennial, Liberty, In God We Trust, 1804, 1806, and 2004 are engraved around the couple. In the United States Mint, artist and engraver Donna Weaver created the design on the obverse.

On the reverse, the Jefferson Peace Medal handed to Native American Chiefs encountered on the trip is portrayed with two feathers from those tribes. The seventeen Union states at the time of the trip are represented by seventeen stars. United States of America, One Dollar, and E PLURIBUS UNUM are also on it. The reverse was created by Donna Weaver.

The National Park Service received one-third of the surcharges earned from the sale of these silver dollars and the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial received two-thirds. These funds will be used to support the commemorative events around the bicentennial.

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