REGULAR ISSUE REVERSE
(REVERSE OF 2000)
(Photo courtesy of NGC)
The wing and tail feathers on the Pattern Dollars are more defined than on the coins released into circulation. The tail feathers exhibit detailed veins as well as a raised central shaft on the center feather. On the coins struck for circulation, the details on the feathers have been smoothed down and the shaft on the central feather is incused. In order to distinguish between the two types, William (Bill) T. Gibbs coined the term "Reverse of 1999" for the Pattern/Cheerios Dollars and the term "Reverse of 2000" for the regular issue dollars. Click HERE to see a side-by-side comparison of the entire reverses of the "Reverse of 1999" and the "Reverse of 2000" pieces (Photo courtesy of NGC).
The reason for the change on the coins struck for circulation is explained by reverse designer Tom Rogers in an interview he had with Tom DeLorey on June 3, 2005. Tom DeLorey writes: "He (Rogers) said that the design change in the tail feathers was made very late in the design process, probably in late October, though he would have to check his notebook to be sure. Business strike production began Nov. 18th or
19th. The reason for the change was to make the tail feathers appear lighter in color, compared to the body of the eagle. An eagle's tail feathers are white. He said the original trial strikes made them look too brown. He smoothed down the lines that stick out at a 45 degree angle from the veins, and then somebody told him to replace the raised vein in the middle feather with a recessed one so it wouldn't stand out by itself."
The total number of these coins that were struck is unknown. However, the number of these coins that can potentially be in collector's hands is 5,500. That is the number of "Cheerios Dollars" released in cereal boxes. Undoubtedly, many of the "Cheerios Dollars" were opened and spent, or thrown in a drawer and forgotten about, making them VERY hard to come by.
These pieces were listed for the first time in the 60th Edition (2007) of A Guide Book of United States Coins (aka "The Redbook") by R. S. Yeoman. They are also listed in the Cherrypickers' Guide To Rare Die Varieties Of United States Coins . Fourth Edition Volume II, by Bill Fivaz & J. T. Stanton, where they are described as "Enhanced Reverse Die" and numbered FS-C1-2000P-901.