E-mail claims 'In God We Trust' removed from dollar coins

Some dollar coins, above, carry “In God We Trust” on the edges. However in 2007, an unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were struck without edge inscriptions, including “In God We Trust,” below.

U.S. Mint

Some dollar coins, above, carry “In God We Trust” on the edges. However in 2007, an unknown number of new George Washington dollar coins were struck without edge inscriptions, including “In God We Trust,” below.

The statement

On the new dollar coins, " 'In God We Trust' is gone!"

Chain e-mail on Feb. 5.

The ruling

We're constantly reminded that falsehoods ricochet around the Web long after they have been discredited. The latest example comes from a chain e-mail claiming that newly released dollar coins do not contain the words "In God We Trust."

A simple Web search reveals the e-mail was debunked long ago by our friends at FactCheck.org and Snopes, a Web site dedicated to investigating Internet rumors. So we'll add our voice to the debunkers.

The U.S. Mint says dollar coins have been minted intermittently since 1794, and there are three in production: the presidential series, the Sacagawea Golden Dollar and the Native American dollar. The Sacagawea Golden Dollar was first issued in 2000; the presidential series began in 2007, and the Native American coin, which features Sacagawea on the front, was released in 2009. The chain e-mail includes a picture of a hand holding a dollar coin with a picture of President George Washington, so we'll begin with that series.

Each year the U.S. Mint releases new coins to honor four U.S. presidents in the order that they served. The law that authorized the coins called for the U.S. president to be on the front, the Statue of Liberty on the back, and, on the edge of the coin, the year of minting and the inscriptions "E Pluribus Unum" and "In God We Trust."

The law changed in 2007 and specified that "In God We Trust" appear on the front of the coin (the "heads" side) rather than the edge. That took effect with coins minted in 2009, starting with the release of the coin honoring President William Harrison.

We should note that it is possible to find one of the original 2007 coins without the "In God We Trust" side inscription. According to a 2007 Associated Press story, "an unknown number" of new George Washington dollar coins were mistakenly produced without their edge inscriptions, including 'In God We Trust.' "

An expert who follows coin collecting estimates more than 50,000 incorrect coins were minted. The total number of coins produced by 2007: 300 million.

"In God We Trust" also appears on the front of the Native American and Sacagawea dollars.

So you can see "In God We Trust" on the presidential, Sacagawea and American Indian dollar coins. We find the claim False.

PolitiFact staff writer Lukas Pleva. This ruling has been edited for print. For the full ruling — and others — go to PolitiFact.com.

E-mail claims 'In God We Trust' removed from dollar coins 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 9:39pm]

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