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Two of our Mighty Minters—Layla, a peahen from West Point, New York and Eli from Ft. Knox, Kentucky—are each trying to strike a pose similar to the ballerinas on the coin and surrounded by the swirling and twirling flakes in the snow globe. Poor Eli’s courageous effort is no match for Layla’s years of ballet classes! Wow…not even close! He just can’t stretch his leg up that high! But no matter! It’s all in good fun and in the spirit of friendly competition!
The reverse (tails side) of the uncirculated Native American $1 Coin features Maria Tallchief in balletic pose. In addition to Tallchief, four other American Indian ballerinas from Oklahoma achieved international recognition in the 20th century, including her sister Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, and Moscelyne Larkin. Celebrated as the “Five Moons,” their legacy of achievement and inclusion continues to influence ballet today. A nod to the “Five Moons” is presented in lunar motif, while the four ballerinas in the background are symbolic of both Tallchief’s American Indian ballerinas contemporaries and the generations of dancers they inspired. The coin—minted at the Philadelphia Mint—features a design by Artistic Infusion Program Designer Ben Sowards and was sculpted by Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill. Inscriptions include “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “MARIA TALLCHIEF,” “$1,” and “AMERICAN INDIANS IN BALLET.”
An engraved U.S. Mint seal is on the back of the hand-crafted ornament. It was constructed in solid brass and finished with the silvery sheen of imitation rhodium. The packaging features the ornament’s design on the front, and the back has a description and serves as the certificate of authenticity.
We all hope that this year’s Mighty Minters ornament will inspire you and kids of all ages to kick up their heels and join Eli and Layla in a Dance of Joy this holiday season! It’s sure to bring a smile to anyone who receives this unique keepsake, so shop early!
P.S. And add even more smiles and memories with the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Mighty Minters Ornaments—while supplies last!