Since the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition two hundred years ago, the United States Mint has issued the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar in 2004 to commemorate this momentous occasion. The proof and uncirculated versions of the book were both made available for purchase on May 12th of that year.
At the invitation of President Thomas Jefferson, Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark launched an expedition into the territories of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase that were mostly unknown at the time.
They had set out to discover a waterway across the continent, but alas, there was none. Despite this, the expedition was able to establish contact with many Native American tribes, find a plethora of new species of flora and animals, and stake a claim to the Pacific Northwest.
Public Law 106-126, the Lewis and Clark Expedition Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, gave Congress the green light to mint these coins. Based on demand, the statute authorized the striking of up to half a million coins.
The portrait of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who were the leaders of the group, is featured on the obverse of each Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Silver Dollar that was issued in 2004.
Along the perimeter of the pair are inscriptions that read "LEWIS & CLARK BICENTENNIAL," "LIBERTY," and "IN GOD WE TRUST," as well as the years 1804, 1806, and 2004. The sculptor and engraver Donna Weaver of the United States Mint was responsible for designing the obverse.
On the reverse, there is a depiction of the Jefferson Peace Medal that was delivered to the Native American Chiefs that were encountered during the trip. Additionally, there are two feathers that are indicative of the Native American tribes that were encountered.
At the time of the trip, there were seventeen states that were a member of the Union. These seventeen states are represented by the seventeen stars that are shown. The inscriptions "E Pluribus Unum," "ONE DOLLAR," and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" are also included in this set. Donna Weaver was also responsible for the design of the reverse.