Posted on July 21, 2017
To date, the Native American Mint has earned a reputation for the production of its popular Proof Native American Dollar Series of silver coins. Now however, the mint is out with a brand-new coin that joins that ranks of just a dozen other products like it worldwide by offering a colorized proof coin with a stunning curved striking. The new 2017 Solar Eclipse Curved Silver Coin isn’t just another curved product on the market, but one that helps commemorate a rare occurrence in our galaxy.
On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur in which the moon passes between the Sun and planet Earth, blocking out the rays of our solar system’s life-giving star. The Native American Mint has teamed with the Oglala Lakota Sioux Sovereign Nation to issue a coin with legal authorization from the tribal nation to commemorate the event.
Refined by the Native American Mint and legally authorized with a face value of 1 Dollar by the Oglala Lakota Sioux Sovereign Nation, the 2017 Solar Eclipse Curved Silver Coin contains 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver and has a maximum mintage of only 5,000 coins. Each coin has a curved design with 2-sided colorized finish. The individual coins in this offering ship inside of a protective capsule.
The reverse, or concave, side of the coin has a beautiful satellite image of planet Earth that is focused on the North and South American continents. On the coin’s surface you can see the path the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse will take across the North American continent. Engravings on this face read “Oglala Lakota Sioux Nation Transit” above the design and “1 Dollar – 2017 – America – 1 oz Silver 999” below.
On the obverse, you see the beautiful colorization of a solar eclipse in a way you could never view before. With vibrant color, the pock-marked surface of the moon is visible in the foreground as it passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking out the bright, fiery surface of the sun in the background. A few solar bursts emerge from around the moon’s surface, but the only other colorization is the black depths of our solar system beyond in the background.
A solar eclipse, on the surface, is not a rare occurrence by any means. An eclipse only occurs during eclipse season, which is the period of time when the Sun is close to either the ascending or descending node of the Moon. The eclipse season is not the same as our yearly calendar though, so to simplify the concept there are between two and five solar eclipses every year on Earth. However, since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, only 1693, 1758, 1805, 1823, 1870, and 1935 have actually had five eclipses occur.
Additionally, there are countless versions of eclipses that occur each year, meaning not all eclipses in a year are of one type or another. The four types are total eclipse, annual eclipse, hybrid eclipse, or partial eclipse. For the sake of time, we’ll focus only on the total eclipse. This occurs when the dark silhouette of the Moon actually acts to completely block the intensely bright rays of the sun, and in the process allow for the faint solar corona (an aura of plasma around the sun and other stars) to become visible.
One final term that is important here: totality. Just because there is one, two, or five eclipses in any given year does not mean they are visible everywhere on Earth. Totality refers to the level of visibility of the eclipse itself, and is at its best along the narrow track that any given eclipse follows over Earth.
The total solar eclipse commemorated in the 2017 Solar Eclipse Curved Silver Coin is a very unique occurrence in the United States and North America. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since July 11, 1991, and that was visible only in Hawaii. This is the first total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States since February 26, 1979, but even that was only visible in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota.
You have to dig much deeper into US and North American history to put this upcoming eclipse into context. The last time a total solar eclipse had a path of totality that crossed the US from Pacific Coast to Atlantic Coast was 1918, but the path of that eclipse in total was not entirely within the United States.
No, you have to go back to 1776, the year the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence to find a total solar eclipse that had a path of totality that made landfall exclusively within the lands of the modern United States of America. Before that, the last total solar eclipse with that path of totality occurred in what would become the United States on June 13, 1257.
This year’s total solar eclipse will travel from the Pacific Northwest across the contiguous 48 states of the US to the Atlantic Coast near the border of Georgia and South Carolina. It will be visible throughout the lower 48 states as it makes its march across the country with a duration that is expected to run 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
The Native American Mint is a privately-owned enterprise in Torrance, California that specializes in the production of coins, medals, and gaming industry tokens. Many of its designs, especially those covered in this category page, honor Native American ancestry and culture with accurate depictions of tribal entities and groups. Coins struck by the mint do not have legal tender status in the United States, as that can only be bestowed by the sovereign United States Mint. However, the 2017 Solar Eclipse Curved Silver Coin does have its 1 Dollar face value issued by the Oglala Lakota Sioux Sovereign Nation.
As of 2013, there are 46,855 registered tribal members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Sovereign Nation. The vast majority of these tribal members live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where the 2017 total solar eclipse will be 98% visible to residents.
Whether you’re looking to buy silver coins, want to learn about unique, upcoming coin releases, the JM Bullion blog is here to keep you in the loop. You can check back regularly for new content, or stay current by following JM Bullion on Facebook for all the latest.