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New $1 Coin Based on Buffalo Nickel

October 12, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The buffalo nickel is coming back, but this time it’s going to be worth a little more.

Congress on Wednesday approved the minting of a new silver dollar based on the design of the buffalo nickel. The dollar piece will be released next year in honor of the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of the American Indian, which is scheduled to open during the summer of 2002, officials said.

The proceeds from the sale of the coin will go toward funding the opening of the museum and will supplement the museum’s endowment and educational outreach funds.

``Collectors tell me that the design ... is so treasured that this commemorative coin is likely to be extremely popular with the numismatic community, as well as with that part of the American public interested in American history,″ said Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, when the bill passed the House Sept. 26.

The Senate approved the bill by voice vote Wednesday night. It was sponsored by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo.

The original 5-cent buffalo nickel, designed by James Earle Fraser, was minted from 1913-1938. It had the profile of a Native American on one side and an American buffalo on the other.

Roughly 1.2 billion buffalo nickels were made, Leach said. Only 500,000 of the buffalo dollars will be made and the coins will only be minted during 2001.

Other new coins that have been minted recently are the new quarters featuring each of the 50 states and the Sacagawea ``golden″ dollar, which replaced the 18-year-old Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Both coins are popular with collectors.

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The bill number is H.R. 4259.

On the Net: For bill text: http://thomas.loc.gov

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