This year is known for the Martha Washington dollar J2185 struck on a manganese brass planchet which would later be used on the Sacagawea dollar.

As part of the testing of this year, these dies, the U.S. Mint's all-purpose design, were given to outside contractors including IDX Inc, PMX Industries and Olin Brass Corporation. These were struck with both brilliant and matte finishes and examples were made with what is believed to be dotted "N"s in the obverse fields. It is not known if this was to simulate Braille or not.

The illustrated piece was brought over to the Smithsonian where it was photographed but, regrettably, was not left there. Only a few specimens have since come to light including the example in the American Numismatic Rarities December 2002 sale.

Photo courtesy of Douglas Mudd of the Smithsonian Institution.

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