A Cheerios Dollar
is a Sacagawea Dollar
bearing the date 2000 that was inserted into a Cheerios cereal box in early 2000 as part of a U.S. Mint promotion to raise awareness about the new Golden Dollar. A total of 10 million boxes of Cheerios were involved in the promotion, all of which included a newly-struck 2000 Lincoln Cent. A lucky 5,500 boxes also included a Sacagawea Dollar, which was later discovered to have been struck from a different set of master dies than the normal Sacagawea Dollars. These rare coins, which quickly gained the moniker Cheerios Dollars
, are considered to be pattern coins
by most collectors. They can be distinguished from normal Sacagawea Dollars by the enhanced eagle tail-feathers on the reverse (see photo.) Very few specimens have come to light, perhaps no more than 60 or 70 total, and they are quite valuable, selling for $5,000 to $25,000 depending on grade.
It was later discovered that not all of the Sacagawea
Dollars that were placed in the Cheerios boxes have the enhanced tail-feathers, as originally thought. For more information, see: Sacagawea Cheerios Pattern Rarer Than We Thought?
Nobody knows why so few Cheerios Dollars
have come to light; some people think they were all spent into circulation, while others think that they're just sitting in people's drawers and coin jars, waiting to be discovered.